NHS looks to replace common anaesthetics in a bid to reduce carbon footprint

This article originally featured in The Skylark’s newsletter and was written as a condensed news in brief.

NHS Doctors are calling for the use of one of the most commonly used anaesthetic gases to be stopped because it is nearly 4,000 times more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide. Raigmore Hospital in Scotland has already banned the use of desflurane, replacing it with sevoflurane in 2019, with UK wide hospitals expected to follow suit. Using desflurane for eight hours of surgery emits the equivalent of driving a car 4,200 miles, health officials say. The change in more sustainable anaesthetics – including nitrous oxide – would see a 2% reduction of the NHS’s total carbon footprint.

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