Monitoring pollution by proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometry during paediatric anaesthesia with positive pressure ventilation via the laryngeal mask airway or uncuffed tracheal tube

J. Rieder, C. Keller, J. Brimacombe, G. Gruber, P. Lirk, G. Summer, A. Amann

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13 Citations (Scopus)


Twenty children aged 2-66 months were randomly allocated for airway management with either the laryngeal mask airway or uncuffed tracheal tube using intermittent positive pressure ventilation with a tidal volume of 8 and a respiratory rate adjusted to maintain end-expiratory carbon dioxide concentration at 5.3 kPa. Induction was with fentanyl/propofol and maintenance was with sevoflurane 2.5% in oxygen/air. The airway device was removed when the patients were awake and the patients were transferred to the postanaesthesia care unit 10 min later. Air was sampled from a point 1.5 m above the floor at a location remote from the ventilation outlet and analysed using a proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometer capable of continuous trace gas analysis at the parts per billion volume (ppbv) level. The concentration of sevoflurane was recorded every minute during three consecutive phases: for 5 min before the introduction of sevoflurane (background); after introduction of sevoflurane until removal of the airway device (intra-operative); and every minute after removal until the concentration returned to background levels. Median (interquartile range [range]) intra-operative sevoflurane concentrations were 200-400 times higher than background values for the laryngeal mask airway 1 (1-2 [0-3]) ppbv vs. 404 (278-523 [83-983]) ppbv, respectively, and the tracheal tube 2 (1-3 [0-5]) ppbv vs. 396 (204-589 [107-1735]) ppbv (both p <0.0001), and returned to background values within 5 min of removal. There were no differences in sevoflurane concentration between devices intra-operatively or after removal. The performance of the proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometer was identical at the start and end of the 30-day study. We conclude that peri-operative sevoflurane concentration in a modern operating theatre is similar for the laryngeal mask airway and the uncuffed tracheal tube in paediatric patients receiving intermittent positive pressure ventilation. Intra-operative sevoflurane concentrations are five times lower than occupational safety limit requirements, and 1000 times lower 5 min after removal of the airway device with the patient awake. The proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometer has potential for monitoring air quality in the operating theatre
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)663-666
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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