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Occupational Hazards Associated with Exposure to Anesthetic Gases on Reproductive Health in Operating Theatre Staff in Three Hospitals in Khartoum State, Sudan

By Dr. Ahmed Ali Khalid MD and Dr. Nafisa Abdelbagi Elnag Mohammed

MBBS Khartoum University, Saudhi Arabia


Published: Apr 29, 2016 | pg. no: 1-45

Abstract: Objective: To assess the occupational hazard of unscavenged waste anesthetic gases on reproductive health (infertility, abortions, preterm delivery and congenital anomalies) in personnel working in operating rooms. Methods: The study was conducted by a questionnaire-based survey of 99 operating room personnel and 118 non exposed personnel from the general wards in Omdurman Military Hospital, Omdurman Teaching Hospital and Bahri Teaching Hospital. Controls selected by matching age, gender and job grade, 68 were eligible for analysis, 38 males & 30 females. Single personnel and those working less than five years were excluded from the study . Results: Incidence of infertility in operating room personnel was 7.35% compared to 1.47% in non-exposed health workers (relative risk RR 4.93, 95% confidence interval: 0.6-41.7). There was a higher incidence of abortion in OR personnel in the first ten years of work (43.3%) with (RR=3, (95% CI 0.8-11.93) while 14.29% in non-exposed health workers. Longer durations of exposure were associated with having fewer children (0.05). Incidence of preterm delivery was similar in both groups (10% Vs 13.3%), but higher by about two-fold the general population (5%). Incidence of congenital anomalies in offspring was similar in both groups (1.47%). Conclusion: There is a reproductive health risk of exposure to anesthetic gases. Adequate hazard control can be achieved by well-designed anesthetic equipment and high standards in scavenging and general ventilation and continuous training for good work practices. All staff working with anesthetic agents and contemplating pregnancies should limit exposure to toxic substances to the lowest level achievable.

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