People in the operating room may be exposed to excessive anesthetic gases if certain conditions exist.


Risk factors for excessive exposure to anesthetic gases in the OR:

(1) poor ventilation in the operating room

(2) makeshift operating room and equipment (as in a disaster)

(3) use of the wrong vaporizer or vaporizer failure (page 1174 Ellenhorn)

(4) valve or line leakage

(5) someone abusing an anesthetic agent

(6) failure to use a scavenging and venting system

(7) letting the anesthesia gases flow when not in use


A person with a history of sensitivity to the anesthetic agent may show toxic effects at lower concentrations.


Monitoring can help detect a problem sooner, hopefully before it becomes serious.


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