A review of a journal article created by a Journal Watch contributor

The role of volatile capture technology in desflurane disposal from decommissioned vaporisers


Submitted December 2023 by Dr Rebecca McIntyre

Read by 762 Journal Watch subscribers

This letter outlines a pilot project examining a method for capturing retained desflurane from decommissioned desflurane vaporizers in the UK. As part of the NHS’s drive to be more environmentally friendly, desflurane has been withdrawn from Scotland this year, and it will be withdrawn from England in 2024. The retained desflurane in the decommissioned vaporizers needs to be disposed of responsibly. In this letter, the authors describe their evaluation of a volatile capture technology (SageTech SID-Dock). When used in combination with a standard anaesthetic machine, the circuit was flushed at 3 different FGFs and desflurane concentrations, and the mass transfer from the vaporizer to the SageTech SID-Dock was measured. They found an average of 94% efficiency of mass transfer, and conclude that it is an effective method of capturing unused desflurane.

They do not deal with the problem of how to responsibly dispose of the captured desflurane, but suggest potential solutions include high temperature incineration, chemical processing and photolytic destruction.

It is heartening to read that people are thinking about and actively working on solutions to the problem of greenhouse gas emissions in the healthcare system.

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