Anesthetic gases

The anesthetic gases and vapors which leak into the indoor atmosphere during medical procedures are considered waste anesthetic gases (WAGs). The exposure is of relevance to thousands of professionals in hospitals, operating theaters, patient recovery rooms, dental offices, and veterinary clinics around the world, who may be continually exposed to the waste anesthetic gases during their workday. Typical gases of concern include nitrous oxide N2O and several halogenated compounds in vapor form, such as sevoflurane, isoflurane, enflurane, halothane, desflurane, and methoxyflurane. Short-term exposure to these gases may lead to several symptoms, such as dizziness, headaches, fatigue, nausea. Long-term exposure to some of the anesthetic agents may result in sterility, birth defects, cancer, and liver and kidney disease.

The medical staff can be exposed to waste anesthetic gases in many ways: gas may escape from around a patient's anesthesia mask, there may be leaks in the anesthetic gas system, or gas may escape during purging of the system. Also, patients may exhale anesthetic gases even days after the surgery.

The Gasmet™ Multicomponent FTIR Gas Analyzers may be used to continuously measure waste anesthetic gases. A continuous or routine monitoring program can easily be done with a fixed installation or portable solution for gas monitoring, providing key information on air quality in the workplace. This powerful FTIR technology can reliably detect which gases are present in the air, and at what levels.

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