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Anesthesiology, emergency medicine & intensive care: environmental impacts.

Disciplines / Medicine

The contribution of anesthesiology, emergency medicine, and intensive care to global environmental change demands worldwide attention.

The daily use of inhalation agents by a single anesthetist can result in significant carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, even when using low flow desflurane (1L/minute) and nitrous oxide. These emissions can be likened to driving more than 1000km per day.

While the focus within the literature to date has mainly been on the carbon footprint of inhaled anesthetics, this healthcare discipline comprises a complex system of products and services. In order to make sustainable decisions about perioperative care, we need a comprehensive understanding of the life cycle environmental impacts of related products and activities.

Want to learn more about the environmental impacts of anesthesiology, emergency medicine and intensive care?

Our database contains environmental impact estimates for a range of products and activities relating to this healthcare field, including drugs (e.g. anesthetic agents and sedatives), equipment (e.g. LMAs, laryngoscopes, CVC kits), and interventions (e.g. anesthesia for spine surgery and knee joint replacements, management of septic patients in ICU).

Below we present a gallery view of all data sources currently included within our database that relate to anesthesiology, emergency medicine and intensive care. Scroll through and expand tiles to learn more about each data source, including its scope and methods.

If you want to explore environmental impact estimates for specific products and activities, scroll down further to explore the database itself, again filtered to only show relevant studies.

— "Healthcare itself pollutes. Anaesthesia and critical care are the cause for a considerable contribution to such healthcare pollution. Over the past decade considerable progress has been made in improving the research foundation of environmentally sustainable healthcare ... Such considerations do not usurp patient-centred nor fiscally prudent care, but rather complement such goals by protecting patients, our healthcare system, and the environment."

McGain et al., 2020

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HealthcareLCA Gallery | Filtered: Discipline > Anesthesiology, emergency medicine and intensive care

Suggested citation: Drew J & Rizan C. (2022). HealthcareLCA Database [Online Database]. HealthcareLCA. Retrieved from:

HealthcareLCA Database | Filtered: Discipline > Anesthesiology, emergency medicine and intensive care