If you’ve ever had your wisdom teeth out or undergone any kind of surgery, you’ve most likely heard anesthesiology terms thrown around (words like 'local anesthetic', 'general anesthesia', 'anesthesiologist' and 'analgesia'). They all sound reasonably similar in pronunciation, but they all have their own individual and significant meanings. In general terms, the field of anesthesiology is responsible for inducing a reversible ‘lack of awareness’ in patients so they can undergo a surgical procedure. The anesthesia applied for a given surgery can vary on multiple levels such as where it is focused (general vs. local) and its level of pain relief (analgesia).
One of the noteworthy elements of anesthesiology (from an environmental perspective) is the impact of anesthetics that you inhale for a given procedure. Researchers at Blue Zone Technologies Ltd. have discovered that during a typical surgical procedure, only 5% of the anesthetic is taken in by the patient and the rest is vented into the outdoors. This is particularly alarming because in high doses, anesthetics can be very toxic and potentially lethal. Additionally, when released into the atmosphere, anesthetics are known to decrease the air quality of their surroundings. Furthermore, anesthetics are extremely strong greenhouse gases with a warming impact that is 3,766 times greater than carbon dioxide.
As a result of all of these negative consequences, Blue Zone developed the Deltasorb Anesthetic Collection Service technology. This innovative service from the company based out of Toronto has extraordinary implications for anesthesiology and its environmental impacts. Essentially, Deltasorb uses a stainless steel canister equipped with a special filter to absorb anesthetic gas before it can be vented into the atmosphere. Once full, the Deltasorb canisters can be collected by trained staff, returned to Blue Zone and the old anesthetics can be recycled into new medical grade anesthetics.
Why is this such a big deal? First off, the reduction of environmental harm that Deltasorb provides is incredibly significant. An average hospital annually produces waste from anesthetic gas that is equivalent to the emissions of 400 cars running for the year. Additionally, anesthetics are currently high in demand and very expensive. The recycling capacity provided by Blue Zone for anesthetics should provide an alternative source to help reduce costs in the relative monopoly that exists in the anesthetic market. Lastly, the Deltasorb technology from Blue Zone is currently the only commercially viable alternative to anesthetic venting!
In the end, I think that the Deltasorb Anesthetic Collection Service technology from Blue Zone is a truly revolutionary green technology. Not only will it benefit the environment and the healthcare field, but it will also serve as a great example of sustainability and eco-friendless in the business world.