Climate change is a problem for us all to tackle. As the guardians of inhaled anaesthetics Anaesthetists have a major role to play in reducing health system emissions due to N2O. The Kn2oW Nitrous campaign hopes to empower people to take a closer look at N2O consumption in their hospital with the aim of reducing carbon emissions. To make things easier we have provided some simple steps to follow for anyone interested in tackling this issue in their own institution. Just contact the relevant person within your hospital and follow the steps provided
N2O Pipeline Map
- Ensure the map of N2O infrastructure is up to date and decommission any unused outlets or limbs. This will decrease the risk of leak from unnecessary piping.
- Ensure that your hospital has a service contract to regularly assess piping infrastructure for leaks. Find out who does the checks and how frequently. In addition to following the Australian Standard, the system should be pressure tested. Click here for pressure testing protocol.
- Ascertain the size of the N2O manifold. If decommissioning is not possible consider downsizing the manifold so regular purchasing is needed. This decreases the cost of cylinder hire and enhances the detection of new leaks.
Finance or Gas Provider
- Determine the timing and amount of N2O procured by your hospital over the last 5 years.
Clinical Use Audit
- Audit the clinical use of N2O within the department by consultant survey and interrogation of the anaesthetic machines. Determine if clinical use matches purchasing. Click here to go to our clinical audit page for more information.
- Provide an education session for your department. Discuss the environmental impacts of N2O, findings of the clinical audit and potential strategies to reduce N2O use.
- Consider decommissioning the piped N2O system in adult only hospitals. Provide small portable cylinders to selected anaesthetic machines and portable entonox cylinders to be used as required.