According to the National Health Service in Scotland, the sedative gas desflurane has a global warming potential 2,500 times greater than carbon dioxide. Doctors claim banning it would cut emissions equal to powering 1,700 homes a year.
Scotland is not the only place in the U.K. to move away from desflurane. England and several hospitals in Wales have stopped using it too.
NHS England will also ban desflurane in 2024, except in exceptional circumstances like the unavailability of a less carbon intensive alternative.
In a statement provided to the BBC, Dr. Kenneth Barker, Scottish anesthetist and the head of the climate doctor organization, National Green Theatres Programme said:
I realised in 2017 that the amount of desflurane we used in a typical day's work as an anesthetist resulted in emissions equivalent to me driving 670 miles that day.
I decided to stop using it straight away and many fellow anesthetists have got on board.
When you are faced with something as obvious as this and with the significance it has to the environment - I am very glad we have got to this stage.
Anesthesiologists claim the greenhouse gas emissions of desflurane are 25 times higher than that of the alternative, sevoflurane.
But as so frequently is the case in such climate madness, hospitals in Canada beat Scotland to a ban on climate criminal anesthetics by a few months.
In June, two British Columbia hospitals also banned desflurane. Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster, B.C., and Eagle Ridge Hospital in Port Moody returned the vaporizers which administered the gas to the manufacturers.
Desflurane in Canada is made by Blue Zone Technologies in a branded generic form and by Baxter Healthcare under the brand name Suprane.