The scavenging of waste anesthetic gases (WAGs) is recommended by every professional organization and government agency involved with anesthesia to reduce occupational exposure to health care personnel. WAGs in health care environments have been associated with adverse health outcomes in unscavenged situations. Operating rooms and dental operatories have developed techniques to decrease occupational exposure by scavenging the WAGs and minimizing potential health problems, but few studies have addressed WAGs in the post-anesthetic care unit (PACU). Monitoring of WAGs, primarily nitrous oxide, has been done using dosimetry badges, hand-held monitoring devices, and infrared spectrophotometry. While these measuring devices give readings in the part per million (ppm) ranges, they cannot visualize the gas during or following administration to a patient. This can be important when determining leaks or direct exposure from patients exhaling residual levels of the anesthetic gases. Recent advances in infrared (IR) videography technology have made it possible to visualize nitrous oxide leakage. Because these leak sources can be readily identified from infrared imaging, the WAGs can be more easily controlled through the elimination of leaks, especially to scavenging systems, so that occupational exposures to personnel in the PACU are decreased. In this article, Drs. McGlothlin and Moenning presents a brief overview of WAGs in the healthcare industry, with a focus on healthcare personnel in the PACU. Recent exposure and risk assessment studies using IR thermography cameras and IR sensors to identify and quantify WAG (i.e., N20) exposures among PACU employees are pointing toward an unidentified and relatively new health exposure concern for these employees.
Expiration Date: 01-19-2018
This course is approved for 2.0 contact hours.
Before You Begin
- Register for a free account at http://www.saxetesting.com/cf/register.php . You will need your Respiratory Therapist license number during registration. Remember to log into your account before you begin.
Step 1 - Read Article: Waste Anesthetic Gases (WAGs) Among Employees in the Healthcare Industry (Issue 15)
- Review the PDF on Waste Anesthetic Gases (WAGs) Among Employees in the Healthcare Industry (Issue 15) http://www.clinicalfoundations.org/assets/cf_15.pdf
- You may need to get Adobe Acrobat reader if you are not able to read the article.
Step 2 - Take Online Test: Waste Anesthetic Gases (WAGs) Among Employees in the Healthcare Industry (Issue 15)
- Remember: you must register and log-in before you are able to take the online test!
- Take and pass the Test (Issue 15). You will only be allowed 2 attempts. http://www.saxetesting.com/cf/
- Once completed, complete the short survey, and the certificate will be available for you to print.
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