Trace anesthetic gases during xenon arc photocoagulation for retinoblastoma.
Air Pollutants, Occupational
In pediatric ocular examinations, administration of continuous-flow anesthetic gases containing nitrous oxide, halothane, and oxygen enables the physician to do safe, controlled, reproducible examinations. We did a study in which the levels of waste anesthetic gases were measured during xenon arc photocoagulation procedures used for retinoblastoma. Waste nitrous oxide and halothane gases measured during these procedures significantly exceeded the levels recommended by the National Institute of Safety and Health. These high levels are of particular importance because of the physician's proximity to the patient during the procedure. The high levels of waste gases may have immediate deleterious effects on the physician's functioning capacity and may also pose long-term health hazards for the physician and operating room personnel.