Scotland becomes the first country to ban the high-emissions anesthetic desflurane


Scotland has become the first country to ban the inhaled anesthetic desflurane due to its high global warming potential. The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) estimates this will reduce harmful emissions by around 40 kilotons of carbon a year, with plans to stop using desflurane completely by early 2024. The EU plans to ban desflurane from 1 January 2026 except in exceptional circumstances. Alternatives such as sevoflurane or nitrous oxide have a lower climate impact, and anesthetic techniques such as intravenous agents and regional anesthesia offer safe alternatives with significantly lower climate impacts.

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