Multisolving Policy Library
Health Case Study: Smarter Anesthetic Gases
Anesthesiologist Forbes McGain and his colleagues at Western Health Hospitals in Australia took initiative in 2012 to educate their peers on the need to use anesthetic gases more efficiently and shift to gases with lower global warming impact.
Desflurane has a warming potential that is 2,500 times higher than CO2, meaning a change away from desflurane and nitrous oxide gases to sevoflurane and propofol considerably reduces anesthesia’s environmental footprint.
From 2012-2015, Western Health Hospitals were able to reduce the use of desflurane by over 50% and nitrous oxide by 15%, saving $22,500 per year.
Savings from switching gases*
Leadership & Replication
As a member of Doctors for the Environment Australia, Dr. McGain has encouraged fellow doctors to emulate Western Health’s efforts in their own hospitals.
Western Health doctors estimated that if all Victorian hospitals changed the anesthetic gases they use, they could save up to $1 million per year, with a large reduction in emissions and no compromise to patient care.