Benenden Hospital is delighted to announce that it has become the first independent private hospital in the UK to integrate a groundbreaking system to capture and recycle volatile anaesthetic gas in its operating theatres.
Developed by Devon-based environmental medical device company SageTech Medical, the ‘SID-Dock’ captures waste anaesthetic gases breathed out by a patient onto specially developed filters contained inside two reusable capture canisters (‘SID-Cans’), preventing them from polluting the environment. The captured gases are then recovered and recycled at regional SID-Hub facilities, ready for future reuse.
Inhalational anaesthetic gases are vital for putting patients to sleep for operations, but they come with a cost to the environment. During an operation, only 5% of volatile anaesthetic agents are absorbed and metabolised by the patient, leaving 95% to be exhaled and released into the atmosphere as waste1. The waste gases are greenhouse gases and are highly polluting to the atmosphere.
Preventing the release and environmental pollution caused by these gases is a priority for Benenden Hospital, in line with their carbon reduction targets.
Jane Abbott, Director of Benenden Hospital, said:
“As part of our sustainability strategy, we’ve paid particular focus to limiting the impact our hospital has on the environment. Working with a fantastic company such as SageTech to integrate their state-of-the-art technology underlines our commitment to carbon reduction.
“We’re immensely proud to be leading the way for sustainability in UK independent hospitals. “
When implemented across the hospital, SageTech Medical’s volatile gas capture solution could prevent up to 370 tonnes of CO2e emissions being released into the atmosphere over the equipment's lifetime.
Luke Rawlinson, SageTech Medical's Head of Commercial said:
"The Benenden Hospital team have been great to work with and have taken decisive action to reduce pollution from anaesthetic gases with our capture technology. This supports Benenden Hospital's strategic goals on sustainability, and we are pleased to have been selected as the partner of choice."
The manufacture of virgin anaesthetic agents and their release as potent greenhouse gases contributes significantly to the carbon footprint of healthcare. Once exhaled into the atmosphere, waste volatile anaesthetics stay around for a long time and subsequently have high global warming potentials. These gases cause climate change by trapping heat, and they also contribute to respiratory disease from smog and air pollution.
Simon Brooks, Benenden Hospital’s Anaesthetics and Recovery Clinical Lead, said:
“This leading-edge technology has been integrated seamlessly into our existing anaesthetic equipment. We’re very grateful to the wonderful SageTech team for providing us with such an easy-to-install, sustainable anaesthesia solution.”
- National Library of Medicine / Environmental and Occupational Considerations of Anaesthesia: A Narrative Review and Update
Published on 09 November 2023