What Does Sevoflurane Smell Like & How to Monitor Long-Term Exposure

Though sevoflurane has a good safety record, like all anaesthetic agents it carries certain risks.

What is Sevoflurane?

Along with isoflurane, sevoflurane is one of the most common anaesthetics for outpatients in healthcare settings. It’s used across all ages to induce general anaesthesia and maintain it during procedures.

What Risks Are Associated With Sevoflurane?

Some people are allergic to sevoflurane. It’s also been known to interact badly with certain other drugs and health problems, including muscle problems and malignant hyperthermia.

Sevoflurane is currently under review for potential hepatotoxicity. There are also concerns that it may accelerate Alzheimer’s.

On top of this, there are concerns that sevoflurane might be harmful to some children and infants. It may be neurotoxic to a developing brain, so it could be linked to neurobehavioural abnormalities in the long-term.

Effects of Long-Term Exposure of Sevoflurane

Like all anaesthetic agents, prolonged exposure in the workplace can lead to a range of problems. According to the CDI, these might include confusion, agitation, dizziness, nausea, breathing difficulties, blurred vision, and even loss of consciousness.

In the long-term, sevoflurane exposure can lead to some more serious health issues, include liver problems, hearth problems, asthma, and blood haemorrhages.

What Does Sevoflurane Smell Like?

Sevoflurane has a distinctive sweet smell, so it’s relatively easy to tell when there’s been a leak.

However, as sevoflurane’s administered as a gas through a mask, it’s very common for small quantities to leak into the room as it’s administered. So even if both staff and patients take all the necessary precautions, the risk of exposure may remain.

Inhaling a small amount of sevoflurane might not cause much harm. But as we’ve seen, prolonged exposure over a long-term period can lead to some serious health problems.

This is why it’s important to monitor exposure levels wherever sevoflurane is stored or administered in your hospital.

How to Monitor Sevoflurane Exposure Levels

Workplace exposure monitoring will help you identify whether your staff are being exposed to sevoflurane and other hazardous substances. We’ll help you ensure that current control measures are working effectively and staff are safe within your healthcare working environment.

We offer an expert workplace exposure monitoring service that will ensure you meet your COSHH obligations wherever your staff are exposed to hazardous substances in your care hospital. This can include long-term exposure to sevoflurane.

We employ both continuous monitoring and personal sampling techniques. In this way, we can demonstrate how sevoflurane levels in your hospital vary over the period of monitoring.

Our fully-accredited consultants will manage the work for you, eventually providing a comprehensive report that includes discussions and recommendations based on our findings.

Head here for more information about our bespoke healthcare air quality and exposure monitoring services.

Want to discuss exposure monitoring support for your hospital? You can talk to one of our friendly experts by calling 0333 015 4345 or emailing info@cairntechnology.com.