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Friday, September 11 • 3:20pm - 4:05pm
DoG the WAGs: An Innovative Solution To Reduce Exposure To Waste Anesthetic Gases

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Topic Overview: Occupational exposure to waste anesthetic gases (WAG) poses serious and long-term health risks for employees and their families. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that more than 250,000 U.S. healthcare professionals working in hospitals, operating rooms, dental offices and veterinary clinics are exposed to waste anesthetic gases every year. Laws and recommendations regarding WAG exposures are outdated and vague. In 2014, Legacy Health was awarded a $180K grant to upgrade its program for preventing, reducing and educating on exposures to anesthetic waste gases.

The presentation provides an overview of the approach used by Legacy Health to revamp and expand its program regarding WAG monitoring, risk notification and exposure prevention among its five medical centers and a large research facility. The new WAG program focused on three areas: 1) reduce exposure to anesthetic gases using an innovative and inexpensive device which can easily be adopted at other facilities;  2) educate employees, managers  and contractors on the risks of WAG exposure and how to reduce their own risk, and 3) develop and implement a WAG monitoring program across multiple departments.

The presentation will discuss a study investigating the efficiency of a Disposal of Gas (DoG) control device to reduce the amount of waste anesthetic gases present in the breathing area of staff. The device is intended to be used in conjunction with a system-wide monitoring program and educational materials that help reduce potential exposure to airborne WAG concentrations generated from the mask during surgical procedures. The study concluded that DoG device implementation in addition to work practice modifications may be highly effective control measures that reduce occupational exposure to gases. Examples of policy, educational materials, monitoring programs and an outline for how to create a DoG device will be provided to attendees.


  1. Recognize risks of Waste Anesthetic Gases (WAG) in occupational settings.
  2. Describe the best practices to reduce WAG exposures.
  3. Identify the tool to develop an effective WAG monitoring program.


Kelley Callais, RN, BSN, COHN-S

Kelley Callais has been an RN for more than 26 years, with the last 15 years spent as the Employee Health Nurse Specialist at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center and Legacy Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Health in Portland, OR, a medical system of over 15,000 employees and staff... Read More →

Friday September 11, 2015 3:20pm - 4:05pm PDT
Pacific Concourse H&I