anesthetist during surgery

A doctor in Portland, Oregon, is making waves in the medical community after revealing to his colleagues the substantial carbon footprint they create with the use of a specific anesthesia gas during surgeries. As climate change becomes a more pressing problem in our society, people are starting to find the little ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. One of the largest contributors is the medical industry, so recognizing the best medical practices for the environment and patients are essential.

What is Anesthesia?

AnesthesiaAnesthesia is the medical treatment that renders a patient unconscious and unable to sense pain during important medical procedures, such as surgery. Anesthesia can be administered in two forms: injection or inhalation. Injection anesthesia is inserted directly into the blood stream via intravenous therapy (IV).

On the other hand, gas anesthesia is administered to the patient through a mask that the patient breathes. Surprisingly, only 5% of the gas anesthesia is actually metabolized in the body, so the rest that is exhaled must be ventilated into the air outside the hospital or medical facility.

How Can Anesthesia Gas Harm the Environment?

Medical professionals rely on two common gasses to administered anesthesia to patients: sevoflurane and desflurane. When comparing the two, sevoflurane is less costly than desflurane but requires additional monitoring than desflurane does. One is cheap, while the other requires less work when monitoring the patient. The most important difference however is that desflurane is 20 times stronger in trapping heat when released into the environment than sevoflurane.

anesthesia being used in surgery

In fact, desflurane takes 14 years to disappear from the atmosphere, compared to sevoflurane’s one year. This distinction is only recently coming to light and members of the medical community are calling for anesthesiologists who use desflurane to change their practice. Anesthesia errors is one of the main causes of medical mistake injuries. If you or a loved one have suffered from an anesthesia mistake, it is best that you contact an experienced Massachusetts medical malpractice lawyer.

Contact an Experienced MA Medical Malpractice Lawyer!

MA Medical Malpractice LawyerIf you or a loved one have been injured due to a medical mistake of a doctor, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, among other losses. It is important to hire an experienced Massachusetts medical malpractice lawyer to handle your case and ensure you receive all the compensation you are entitled to. Contact us 24/7 toll free at 1-800-992-6878 or fill out an online contact form for a free consultation of your Massachusetts medical malpractice claim today.


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Paul d’Oliveira

Attorney Paul d’Oliveira has been practicing personal injury and disability law for over 30 years. He started his personal injury law practice in 1989 with two offices in Fall River, MA and East Providence, RI. Today his firm has 16 offices in RI and Southeastern, MA.

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