SageTech Medical, a UK environmental medical device company, are thrilled to have sold their waste volatile gas capture technology to Benenden Hospital – the first independent private hospital to officially purchase the solution.
Inhalational anaesthetic gases are vital for putting patients to sleep for operations, but they come with a cost to the environment. Approximately 95% of the anaesthetic gas used during a procedure is released into the atmosphere as waste1. The waste gases are greenhouse gases and are highly polluting to the atmosphere.
Preventing the release and environmental pollution caused by these gases is a priority for Benenden Hospital, in line with their carbon reduction targets.
Jane Abbott, Director of Benenden Hospital, said:
“As part of our sustainability strategy, we’ve paid particular focus to limiting the impact our hospital has on the surrounding environment. Working with a fantastic company such as SageTech to integrate their state-of-the-art technology underlines our commitment to carbon reduction. We’re immensely proud to be leading the way for sustainability in UK independent hospitals.“
Benenden Hospital has become the first independent private hospital in the UK to buy SageTech Medical’s innovative medical device. The device, known as the ‘SID-Dock’ captures anaesthetic gases onto two reusable capture canisters (‘SID-Cans’), preventing them from polluting the environment. The captured agents are then recovered and recycled, ready for future reuse.
When implemented across the hospital, SageTech Medical’s volatile gas capture solution could prevent up to 370 tonnes of CO2e emissions being released into the atmosphere over the equipment’s lifetime.
Luke Rawlinson, SageTech Medical’s Head of Commercial said:
“The Benenden Hospital team have been great to work with, and have taken decisive action to reduce pollution from anaesthetic gases with our capture technology. This supports Benenden Hospital’s strategic goals on sustainability and we are pleased to have been selected as the partner of choice.”
The manufacture of virgin anaesthetic agents and their release as potent greenhouse gases are highly damaging to the environment and contributes significantly to the carbon footprint of healthcare. During an operation, only 5% of volatile anaesthetic agents are absorbed and metabolised by the patient, leaving 95% to be exhaled and released into the atmosphere as waste.
Once exhaled into the atmosphere, waste volatile anaesthetics stay around for a long time and subsequently have high global warming potentials. These gases cause climate change by trapping heat, and they also contribute to respiratory disease from smog and air pollution. Over a 20-year period (GWP20), volatile anaesthetic gases sevoflurane, isoflurane and desflurane have an impact of 508, 1401 and 3,714 times that of carbon dioxide, respectively2. This equates to around 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions each year in the UK alone3, 4, 5.
SageTech Medical has developed a safe, sustainable and easy to use circular economy solution to tackle the problem of pollution from waste volatile anaesthetic gases. The circular economy solution captures these waste anaesthetic agents and then recycles them back into reusable anaesthetic, helping to reduce hospitals’ carbon footprint and preserve precious raw materials used in virgin anaesthetic agent manufacture.
The solution works by capturing the waste anaesthetic agent breathed out by a patient during an operation by safely adsorbing it onto a specially developed filter contained inside a reusable SID-Can capture canister. Two SID-Can filters are housed inside a SID-Dock capture machine that integrates simply and safely into hospital operating theatres, without having to make changes to any existing equipment.
When full, the SID-Cans are collected from the hospital and emptied at regional SID-Hub facilities before being returned to hospitals for reuse. The recovered waste anaesthetic is then recycled, ready to be used again by hospitals. The waste volatile anaesthetic can be repeatedly recycled and reused, therefore reducing the significant burden associated with virgin drug manufacture and completing the circular economy solution developed by SageTech Medical.
SageTech Medical’s innovative capture technology will be deployed across the theatre complex capturing the waste anaesthetic gas sevoflurane which is the dominant anaesthetic gas in use globally and has an environmental impact in of 508 times (GWP20) that of carbon dioxide. This commitment to SageTech Medical’s market leading solution provides a replicable approach for hospitals to adopt a plug and play solution to solve the global problem of waste anaesthetic gases.
Simon Brooks, Benenden Hospital’s Anaesthetics and Recovery Clinical Lead, said:
“This leading-edge technology has been integrated seamlessly into our existing anaesthetic equipment. We’re very grateful to the wonderful SageTech team for providing us with such an easy-to-install, sustainable anaesthesia solution.”
Currently, there is an unmet, time critical need to reduce the impact of waste volatile anaesthetic agents on the atmosphere to protect our environment for future generations. By preventing these agents from polluting the atmosphere and reducing the raw material associated with their virgin manufacture, SageTech Medical are proud to be leading the way in sustainable anaesthesia and providing hospitals and clinics with a straightforward solution to enable them to make a real difference to their carbon footprint and our planet.
- National Library of Medicine / Environmental and Occupational Considerations of Anesthesia: A Narrative Review and Update
- Environ.Sci.Technol. / The Global Warming Potentials for Anesthetic Gas Sevoflurane Need Significant Corrections
- The Lancet / Health care’s response to climate change: a carbon footprint assessment of the NHS in England
- NHS England / Putting anaesthetic-generated emissions to bed
- RCoA / Sustainability: Intravenous and local anaesthetic agents
About SageTech Medical: The manufacture of virgin anaesthetic agents and their release as waste volatile gases is highly damaging to the environment and contributes significantly to the total carbon footprint of healthcare. SageTech Medical is a medical device and pharmaceutical company focused on the research, design, manufacture and distribution of technologies for the capture and recycling of waste volatile anaesthetic agents. Their unique circular economy solution safely captures volatile anaesthetic agents (sevoflurane, isoflurane, desflurane) through actively controlled adsorption onto a reusable capture canister.
About Benenden Hospital: Opened in 1907, Benenden Hospital is an independent hospital with charitable status, providing first-class treatment for a wide range of specialities. The only private hospital in Kent to be rated Outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), it offers a wide range of healthcare consultations, treatments and diagnostic services to self-pay patients, Benenden Health members and those with private health insurance. It also offers some services to NHS patients via the e-referral system. Providing the highest standards of patient care for over 100 years, the hospital offers fast access to over 250 treatments from highly experienced consultants, supported by dedicated clinicians and specialist teams, in calm and comfortable, modern surroundings.