Working towards a greener future in veterinary anaesthesia

Leanne Smith
Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Anaesthetic gases can exhibit global warming effects by acting as greenhouse gases. The global warming potentials of these gases vary greatly — with sevoflurane being the most environmentally friendly. Nitrous oxide may also exhibit a global warming effect by direct ozone depletion. Veterinary professionals have the potential to reduce their carbon footprint by making use of targeted anaesthetic choices, low fresh gas flows, and multimodal anaesthesia protocols. Individual practices can also appoint an environmental leader and apply pressure to production companies, as well as provide incentives to staff members to take individual action. New developments within sustainable anaesthesia include metal organic frameworks for gas recapture and potential reuse, as well as the development of an environmentally friendly volatile agent, xenon.

Table 1. GWPs of commonly used anaesthetic agents in human and veterinary medicine
Table 1. GWPs of commonly used anaesthetic agents in human and veterinary medicine

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