Health risks and occupational exposure to volatile anaesthetics : a review with a systematic approach

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Health risks and occupational exposure to volatile anaesthetics : a review with a systematic approach

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Publication Article, review peer-reviewed scientific
Title Health risks and occupational exposure to volatile anaesthetics : a review with a systematic approach
Author(s) Nilsson, Roland ; Björdal, Chatarina ; Andersson, Matts ; Björdal, Jörn ; Nyberg, Anna ; Welin, Bengt ; Willman, Ania
Date 2005
English abstract
Aims and objectives. To provide practicing nurse anaesthetists with evidence based knowledge as to whether they are at risk handling volatile anaesthetics by answering the question: What are the health risks threatening health care personnel occupationally exposed to volatile anaesthetics? Background.  The interpretations of results from specific scientific studies vary and preliminary research results indicate that occupational exposure to volatile anaesthetics affects the health of operating room personnel. Design.  Review of scientific literature with a systematic approach. Method.  The review included a systematic search in three major databases, a screening process of abstracts/articles followed by a quality assessment of the included studies. The screening process and the quality assessment were done independently by the six reviewers and followed specific protocols. Results.  A systematic search of The Cochrane Library, MedLine and CINAHL resulted in a screening of 413 abstracts of which 31 articles were assessed for quality, all done independently by the reviewers. Finally, the reviewers agreed upon how to interpret the results of the assessed articles. Conclusions.  The 31 articles assessed covered areas such as genotoxic effects, neurobehavioural effects, immunology, and general health effects. In the scientific literature reviewed there is no evidence of occupational exposure to volatile anaesthetics either being associated with health risks or being harmless. Studies indicating a potential health risk are all investigating circumstances ignorant of modern environmental regulations and/or with no scavenging equipment. Relevance to clinical practice.  Although no answer has been given, this review illuminates the methodological difficulties encountered in designing studies. The result of this review further stresses the need for scientific knowledge in this area and enhances the extensive use of scavenging equipment.
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Publisher Blackwell Scientific Publications
Host/Issue Journal of Clinical Nursing;2
Volume 14
ISSN 0962-1067
Pages 173-186
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) health risks
occupational exposure
systematic review
volatile anaesthestics
Research Subject Categories::INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS::Caring sciences::Nursing
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