The Impact of Anesthetic Choice on Carbon Emissions and Cost

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Cullen Moore (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Vadim Korogoda

Abstract: The environmental impact and cost of anesthetic agents are easily overlooked aspects of anesthesia practice. Nearly the entire volume of inhaled anesthetics are released into the atmosphere where they act as greenhouse gases (GHGs). Intravenous (IV) anesthesia exerts a fraction of the environmental impact and provides a more favorable patient experience. The purpose of this project was to educate anesthesia providers about the environmental effects and relative cost of commonly used anesthetic agents. A mixed-methods design was used to evaluate and educate anesthesia providers at a level 1 trauma center in North Carolina. Baseline anesthetic usage was collected from the electronic medical record (EMR) for a fourteen-day period. A presentation to anesthesia providers during a morning staff meeting discussed those results, environmental impact, and cost of volatile anesthetics. Anesthesia providers were asked to complete an online pre and post-survey. Educational flyers were distributed in the break room and a sticker was placed on each anesthesia machine in the operating rooms. The materials provided information on carbon footprint and cost of volatile anesthetics. Anesthetic usage was collected for a fourteen-day period after the educational intervention. Estimated carbon footprint (KgCO2e) of the measured inhaled anesthetics (isoflurane, sevoflurane, desflurane, and nitrous oxide) saw a 28% decrease. Estimated cost incurred saw an 11% decrease. The use of total intravenous anesthesia (TIVA) or balanced anesthesia technique with IV and inhaled agents saw virtually no change between the two data collection periods. A statistically significant decrease in carbon footprint may be attributed solely to inhaled anesthetic agent choice.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2023
anesthesia, carbon, footprint, environment, climate, green, emission, volatile, gas, inhalational, desflurane, isoflurane, sevoflurane, intravenous, propofol, cost, money, waste

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TitleLocation & LinkType of Relationship
ducational Intervention Decreased Carbon Footprint and Cost of Anesthesia [Poster] described resource includes the related resource either physically or logically.