Modelling levels of nitrous oxide exposure for healthcare professionals during EMONO usage

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has been used to compute nitrous oxide (N2O) levels within a room during the administration of an equimolar mix of N2O/oxygen (EMONO) in the clinical setting. This study modelled realistic scenarios of EMONO usage in hospital or primary care, in order to estimate the potential N2O exposure of healthcare professionals (HCP) with routine EMONO use and to provide guidance for EMONO users. Sixteen scenarios were defined by carrying out a survey of practitioners. CFD simulations were performed for each scenario and N2O concentrations over time were calculated. N2O exposures (time-weighted average of concentration over 8 h [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][TWA-8 h]) were calculated at the HCPs’ mouth to be compared with a predefined occupational exposure limit (OEL). Administration duration and ventilation type were the main factors influencing N2O levels; ventilation type also influenced wash-out time between EMONO administrations. N2O concentration showed a plume distribution towards the ceiling and was highly heterogeneous, highlighting the importance of measurement location. Although estimated TWA-8h varied widely, 13 of the 16 scenarios had an N2O TWA-8h of <100 parts per million. The authors concluded that the data demonstrates that EMONO usage in well ventilated rooms – as recommended - helps to ensure that N2O exposure does not exceed the OEL and does not signal any major risks for HCPs when recommendations are followed. Although these data are numerical simulations and should be considered as such, they can provide guidance for EMONO users. Authors: Pichelin M, Billoet C, Caillibotte G. ;Full Source: Annals in Occupational & Environmental Medicine. 2016 Jul 7;28:30. doi: 10.1186/s40557-016-0116-1. eCollection 2016. ;[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]