- To minimize employee exposure to waste anesthetic gases by evaluating scavenging systems and engineering controls.
- To format monitoring results to satisfy the requirements and recommendations set forth by OSHA, Department of Labor, NIOSH, JCAHO, and insurance companies that offer liability coverage.
- To utilize testing results as a basis for making appropriate recommendations aimed at reducing employee exposure.
This WAGs management program, following the guidelines of NIOSH Publication 77-140, test the effectiveness of systems designed to reduce employee exposure to WAGs. Trace gas contamination is usually the result of five main factors:
- High & Low pressure leakage
- Scavenging system malfunction
- Work practice control
- Improper ventilation
- Temperature & Humidity check
An infrared gas analyzer (Foxboro Miran Sapphire) will be used to make on-site determinations for nitrous oxide and halogenated anesthetic agents (including desflurane and sevoflurane) at the time of anesthetic delivery (Simulated anesthetic delivery will be performed when patient anesthetic delivery is not feasible). On-site monitoring will include average exposure levels in the anesthetist’s breathing zone, measurements of high and low pressure nitrous oxide leakage, assessments of scavenging system effectiveness and proper work practice control measure.
HEALTH CHOICE will also determine air exchange rates by measuring ventilation supply air flow in locations where the monitoring is performed. A Shortridge flowhood will be used to obtain the air flow measurements. Proper evacuation system flow rates will be determined where room vacuum outlets for scavenging evacuation are utilized.