Nitrous usage in new hospitals

Chris Allen's picture

Hi everyone,

I would be really keen to hear from anyone here who's had experience working in new-build hospitals recently.

Part of my work about nitrous oxide use is around manifold/pipeline wastage, and I had wondered if there is perhaps a correlation with moving to a new hospital (and therefore hopefully better piping etc!) and an otherwise unexplained reduction in nitrous oxide use? 

It would involve a bit of digging around with the estates and pharmacy departments, but hopefully would be an interesting project to demonstrate that nitrous waste from the manifold end is an issue that needs addressing?

Happy to chat in more detail of course, so please do get in touch. Any other thoughts and ideas are welcome as well. Thanks!



Nitrous Wastage

Matthew Jenks's picture

Hi Chris, this is really interesting, I did a carbon footprint of our hospital and N20 was approx. 12% of our total carbon footprint ( 3432 tonnes of C02 equivalents) Mainly G cylinders from two banks of cylinders reticulated to hospital wall outlets. Use mainly occurs in our maternity unit and theatre block. Benchmarking against other hospitals in NZ showed we were an outlier (our hospital is > 50 yrs old). A pressure test of piping turned up nothing. Our N20 use has since dropped to 2144 tonnes of C02 equivalents in 2019 and i cant explain this difference. We hardly use any in theatres (paeds gas inductions only). In maternity we have shifted to more portable cyclinders with entonox mixers and less piped gas to mixers. Perhaps it is a manifold problem, i didnt realise this was a problem with other hospitals? We are currently in the process of planning a new $1.4 billion dollar hospital. I am suggesting strongly that we dont reticulate N20 to maternity or theatres and rely on portable cylinders. Also suggesting we investigate N20 scavenging and destruction in maternity unit (as they do in Sweden). Would be interested to discuss more.


Great work!

Amarantha Fennell-Wells's picture

Hi Matthew, I am looking to work with Chris on some similar aspects of usage of N2O in a hospital in South Wales, UK. The mysterious reduction in CO2e by over a third is shocking. I would love to speak with you regarding your methods of investigation to ascertain your data, as well as scavenging and destruction modules to help plan your new hospital.


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