No Trace Gas Risk for Mom in Pedi OR

Diana G. McGregor, MBBS

Letter to the Editor:

To the Editor: In response to Dr. Garner’s inquiry about any adverse effects of the currently used inhaled anesthetic agents on pregnant mothers present at induction of anesthesia for another child, I would refer him to the recent ASA publication: "Waste Anesthetic Gases Information" which was distributed in mid-1999 to ASA members for suggestions on management of issues such as this in anesthetizing areas and the post anesthesia care unit.

There is no evidence that there is any risk to personnel working in scavenged ORs for any adverse health effects including outcome of pregnancy. The same would be true for a pregnant mother present at her child’s induction. The newer agents including sevoflurane have been tested for teratogenicity in studies sponsored by the manufacturers and are reported to be without reproductive toxicity.

Trace levels of sevoflurane at mask induction have been measured and are dependent on technique. In a QA study at our institution they were within the levels recommended by OSHA by being below 2 ppm.

Diana G. McGregor, MBBS, FRCA Chair, ASA Task Force on Trace Anesthetic Gases ASA Committee on Occupational Health