As a Dentist or Dental Nurse, you are potentially exposed to a dangerous level of waste anaesthetic gases that can leak into the surrounding room during dental procedures. Exposure to anaesthetic gases could potentially hinder your ability to safely carry out a procedure.
Equally as concerning is the potential impact of long-term health effects - should your employees suffer illness as a direct result of their work you could be subject to employers liability insurance claims under your Dental Surgery Insurance policy.
What Are The Signs of Exposure
In the long term, occupational exposure to waste anaesthetic gases can lead to health complications such as sterility as well as liver and kidney disease. In the short term, exposure can cause:
If you or any of your employees begin to suffer from any of these symptoms, you should seek medical advice at your earliest convenience.
Ways To Prevent Anaesthetic Gas Exposure
Anaesthetic gases can be perfectly safe when used properly. Following these tips will help you and your team to ensure that anaesthetics are used safely and correctly in your surgery.
- Check all rubber hoses, tubing and breathing bags daily and replace them when damaged or when recommended by the manufacturer.
- Check both high-and low-pressure connections (such as O-rings) regularly, as they may become worn. Replace them periodically, according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
- Inspect the anaesthetic delivery systems and all connections before starting anaesthetic gas administration. Make sure that breathing bags, hoses and clamps are in place before turning on the anaesthetic machine.
- Fasten the mask to the patient according to the manufacturer's instructions to prevent leaks around the mask during gas delivery.
- Connect the scavenging mask properly to the gas delivery hose and the vacuum system.
- Use an automatic interlock system to assure that the anaesthetic cannot be turned on unless the scavenging system is also activated.
- Never use anaesthetic without a properly operating scavenging system.
- Flush the system of the anaesthetic after surgery by administering oxygen to the patient through the anaesthetic equipment for at least 5 minutes before disconnecting the gas delivery system.
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