Objectives: The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of waste anaesthetic gases on cytokines and oxidative stress of hospital health team members following exposure to waste anaesthetic gases (WAGs).
Subjects and methods: In total, 180 participants took part in this study; 60 of these were healthy male controls and the 120 participants in the intervention group were staff who work in the operating room. This latter group comprises six occupational subgroups (1) surgeons, (2) surgical assistants, (3) anaesthesiologists (4) anaesthesiology assistants, (5) nurses and (6) janitors. The following parameters were assessed: catalase (CAT), glutathione peroxidase (GSHpx) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities, plasma fluoride, serum interferon gamma (IFN-γ), serum interleukin 2 (IL2), serum interleukin 4 (IL4) and plasma thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS).
Results: Anaesthesiologists and their assistants exhibited the highest levels of plasma fluoride, serum IFN-γ and IL 2, exceeding the levels in detected in all the other occupational subgroups. Furthermore, the serum levels of IL4 were significantly raised in anaesthesiologists and the difference between this group and other groups was statistically significant. However, compared with the other subgroups, surgeons exhibited elevated plasma TBARS and reduced CAT, GSHpx and SOD; these variances were also statistically significant.
Conclusion and recommendations: The findings of this study indicate that operating room staff exposed to WAGs are vulnerable to experiencing immunotoxicity as the WAGs are considered to initiate oxidative stress and increase the levels of cytokines in serum. Thus, an education programme is warranted to inform staff working in environments where they may be subjected to WAGs on the effects that the gases can have upon their health and how to minimise their exposure to WAGs. An ongoing effort is also needed to ensure anaesthesia safety standards are maintained at all times. The findings of this study may provide a springboard for future research into occupational exposure to WAGs and their wider effect upon health.
Authors: Khaled A Al-Rasheedi, Abdulmajeed A Alqasoumi, Ashraf M Emara
; Full Source: International archives of occupational and environmental health 2021 May 6. doi: 10.1007/s00420-021-01705-y.