Thursday, June 3, 2010

Green Healthcare Solution

See the Paul Brent, CTV News repost...

A greener way to get anesthetized

It is a little-known fact that the typical hospital operating room is a major greenhouse gas emitter. The mostly unwitting masked environmental “villains” are the highly trained anesthesiologists who dispense a unique blend of volatile gases designed to render patients unconscious for surgery.

Anesthetic gas poses two problems, however. The gas mix is difficult to deliver effectively so most of the gas is wasted and ends up in the atmosphere. Typically only about 5 per cent is absorbed by patients. As well, anesthetic gas, described as “stable and very aggressive,” acts as a greenhouse gas on steroids, 3,766 times more powerful as a heat-trapping gas than is carbon dioxide.


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