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Title: The financial and environmental impact of purchased anaesthetic agents in an Australian tertiary hospital.
Austin Authors: Davies, Jessica F;Trajceska, Ljubiana;Weinberg, Laurence 
Affiliation: Anaesthesia
Issue Date: 31-Jan-2023 2023
Publication information: Anaesthesia and Intensive Care 2023; 51(2)
Abstract: Anaesthetic agents have various financial and environmental impacts. Climate change is one of the biggest threats to human health, and anaesthetic gases contribute to global heating by acting as greenhouse gases. The primary aim of this study was to quantify the financial and environmental impacts of anaesthesia maintenance agents used during surgery in an Australian university teaching hospital. The volume of desflurane, sevoflurane, isoflurane and propofol purchased by a university teaching hospital between 2010 and 2020 was analysed and described in terms of financial and environmental impact. Estimated carbon emissions and financial costs of each agent per annum were calculated using the volumes purchased for each agent. A model of ideal anaesthetic agent usage was used to hypothesise the financial and environmental impact of replacing desflurane (the most environmentally damaging and expensive agent) with alternative agents. Using 2019 as an example year at our health service, replacing desflurane with low flow sevoflurane would save greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to driving over 1.4 million kilometres in an average petrol car. Removing desflurane from machines at our institution could save an estimated A$14,630 per annum through reduced machine testing alone. Our findings and calculations indicate that reducing the use of desflurane would have both financial and environmental benefits for healthcare.
DOI: 10.1177/0310057X221129291
ORCID: 0000-0002-2844-8865
Journal: Anaesthesia and Intensive Care
Start page: 310057X221129291
PubMed URL: 36722013
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Pharmacology
anaesthetic agents
environmental sustainability
general interest anaesthesia
health economics
perioperative anaesthesia
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