LIMERICK, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Teleflex Incorporated (NYSE:TFX), a corporate partner of the American Society of PeriAnesthesia Nurses (ASPAN) and the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), has launched The Invisible Risk campaign. The campaign is designed to educate clinicians about the potential risks of waste anesthetic gas exposure and to heighten awareness for those working in the post-anesthesia care unit, or PACU.
“Without close regulation, it is difficult to know how much of these waste gases they are directly exposed to for significant periods of time each day.”
The issue of waste anesthetic gases (WAG) that leak from the patient’s anesthetic breathing circuit into the air of operating room during delivery of anesthesia is well-documented and recognized as an issue.1 However, patients exhale these volatile anesthetic gases during their recovery from anesthesia and it is during this period that healthcare workers may be exposed to potential health risks.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Guidelines for Workplace Exposure states that the patient is the main source of waste anesthetic gases in the PACU.2 Unlike the OR, the PACU is currently a non-scavenged environment so other less-effective methods of waste gas removal are relied upon, making it more difficult to control clinician exposure.
Through decades of studies, researchers have found possible correlations between exposure to waste anesthetic gases and some potential health effects. OSHA warns of potential effects such as nausea, dizziness, headaches, fatigue, and irritability, as well as sterility, miscarriages, birth defects, cancer, and liver and kidney disease.3 Additionally, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) issued the publication Waste Anesthetic Gases - Occupational Hazards in Hospitals (Publication Number 2007-151) for the following reasons:
- Increase awareness about the adverse health effects of Waste Anesthetic Gases;
- Describe how workers are exposed to Waste Anesthetic Gases;
- Recommend work practices to reduce these exposures, and;
- Identify methods to minimize leakage of Waste Anesthetic Gases into the work environment.1
“The OSHA Waste Anesthetic Gas Workplace Exposure guideline states that existing monitoring methods consistently underestimate the level of waste anesthetic gases in the breathing zone of the bedside nurse,” said Cary Vance, President, Anesthesia and Respiratory Division. “Without close regulation, it is difficult to know how much of these waste gases they are directly exposed to for significant periods of time each day.”
Anesthetic gases cannot be detected by odor unless concentrations are very high, so this invisible risk is difficult to detect.2 Advances in technology have enabled visualization of this risk. Visit theinivisiblerisk.org to view videos that were produced using a camera with a spectral filter that narrows the range down to exactly the nitrous oxide heat reading, allowing for visualization of exhaled waste anesthetic gases.
Teleflex is committed to delivering a solution that will help protect clinicians in the PACU from the potential harmful effects of waste anesthetic gases. The ISO-Gard® Mask with ClearAir™ Technology from Teleflex is currently pending 510K approval. This mask will be a multi-purpose product with the proposed claims:
- Reduces hazardous WAG within breathing zone of caregiver
- Minimizes the cumulative effect of low level exposure of WAG to caregiver
- Provides unidirectional flow of oxygen through mask to assure maximum FIO2
- Can handle up to 10 LPM of oxygen flows
“The launch of the invisible risk campaign along with the development of the ISO-Gard® Mask with ClearAir™ Technology exemplifies Teleflex’s commitment to provide solutions that enable healthcare providers to improve outcomes and enhance patient and provider safety,” said Vance.
Learn more at theinvisiblerisk.org.
About Teleflex Incorporated
Teleflex is a leading global provider of specialty medical devices for a range of procedures in critical care and surgery. Our mission is to provide solutions that enable healthcare providers to improve outcomes and enhance patient and provider safety. Headquartered in Limerick, PA, Teleflex employs approximately 11,100 people worldwide and serves healthcare providers in more than 130 countries. Additional information about Teleflex can be obtained from the company's website at teleflex.com.
Any statements contained in this press release that do not describe historical facts may constitute forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statements contained herein are based on our management's current beliefs and expectations, but are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and changes in circumstances, which may cause actual results or company actions to differ materially from what is expressed or implied by these statements. These risks and uncertainties are identified and described in more detail in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Teleflex, ISO-Gard and ClearAir are trademarks or registered
trademarks of Teleflex Incorporated.
©2013 Teleflex Incorporated. All rights reserved. 2013-1769.
1 Waste Anesthetic Gases–Occupational Hazards in Hospitals. NIOSH
Publication No. 2007-151, 2007
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2007-151/. Accessed February 13, 2013.
2 Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Anesthetic Gases:
Guidelines for Workplace Exposures.
http://www.osha.gov/dts/osta/anestheticgases/index.html. Accessed February 13, 2013.
3 Waste Anesthetic Gases - http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/wasteanestheticgases/index.html.
Accessed February 13, 2013.