Interaction of inhalational anaesthetics with CO2 absorbents.

Best practice & research. Clinical anaesthesiology

PubMedID: 12751549

Baum JA, Woehlck HJ. Interaction of inhalational anaesthetics with CO2 absorbents. Best Pract Res Clin Anaesthesiol. 2003;17(1):63-76.
We review the currently available carbon dioxide absorbents: sodium hydroxide lime (=soda lime), barium hydroxide lime, potassium-hydroxide-free soda lime, calcium hydroxide lime and non-caustic lime. In general, all of these carbon dioxide absorbents are liable to react with inhalational anaesthetics. However, there is a decreasing reactivity of the different absorbents with inhalational anaesthetics: barium hydroxide lime > soda lime > potassium-hydroxide-free soda lime > calcium hydroxide lime and non-caustic lime. Gaseous compounds generated by the reaction of the anaesthetics with desiccated absorbents are those that threaten patients. All measures are comprehensively described to--as far as possible--prevent any accidental drying out of the absorbent. Whether or not compound A, a gaseous compound formed by the reaction of sevoflurane with normally hydrated absorbents, is still a matter of concern is discussed. Even after very high loading with this compound, during long-lasting low-flow sevoflurane anaesthesias, no clinical or laboratory signs of renal impairment were observed in any of the surgical patients. Finally, guidelines for the judicious use of different absorbents are given.