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HomeNewsRNSH anaesthetists awarded grant for game-changing device

RNSH anaesthetists awarded grant for game-changing device

A group of anaesthetists from Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) has been awarded funding as part of the NSW Health Sustainable Futures Innovation Fund.

Anaesthetists Ben Olesnicky, Andrew Lindberg and Carl D’Souza will be developing a device that will convert excess anaesthetic gases, a potent greenhouse gas, into a harmless biproduct.

The team will work alongside chemical engineers from The University of New South Wales to develop a clinical prototype device which has the capability of removing a significant proportion of gases from the operating theatre before it reaches the environment.  

Once a successfully tested clinical prototype has been created, it would be adapted to fit all current anaesthetic machines in use across the state.

Ben said the device will use an ultraviolet light technology to convert the gases to harmless biproducts.

“The device will use an ultraviolet light to convert the anaesthetic gas to harmless biproduct, which will ensure no harmful exposure to patients, staff or the general population,” he said.

This project isn’t necessarily about reducing the amount of gases we use, but rather reducing their effect on the environment
RNSH anaesthetist, Ben Olesnicky

The device is currently undergoing laboratory testing and Ben says there could be potential for the device to be implemented on a broader scale if it’s proven to be effective.

“The device will not only help Royal North Shore to dramatically reduce its carbon footprint, but it could also be implemented on a larger scale to help reduce the health systems wider carbon footprint,” he said. 

The Northern Sydney Local Health District has been actively working on its sustainability efforts, committing to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2035, with most of the reduction – 70 to 80 per cent – to be achieved by 2030.

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