Waste anesthetic gas scavenging technology has not changed appreciably in the past 30 years. Open reservoir systems entrain high volumes of room air and dilute waste gases before emission into the atmosphere. This process requires a large vacuum pump, which is both costly to install and, although efficient, operates continuously and at near-full capacity. In an era of increasing energy costs and environmental awareness, carbon footprint reduction is a priority and a more efficient system of safely scavenging waste anesthetic gases is desirable. We tested a low-flow scavenger interface to evaluate the potential for cost and energy savings. The use of this interface in a suite of 4 operating rooms reduced scavenging flow from a constant 37 L/min to a value equal to the fresh gas flow (usually 2 L/min) for each anesthesia machine. Using the ventilator increased this flow by approximately 6 L/min because of the exhaust of ventilator drive gas into the scavenging circuit. Daytime workload of the central vacuum pump decreased from 92% to 12% (expressed as duty cycle). The new system produces energy savings and may increase vacuum pump lifespan.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine