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Anaesthesia


Title:A qualitative investigation into the physical stability of polypropylene and polyethylene in liquid isoflurane and sevoflurane
Author(s):Renfrew, C. W.Murray, J. M.Fee, J. P.
Address:Department of Anaesthesia, The Ulster Hospital, Dundonald, UK.
Year:2000 Aug
Journal Title:Anaesthesia
Page Number:793-7
Language:eng
Volume:55
Issue:8
ISSN/ISBN:0003-2409 (Print). 0003-2409 (Linking)
Abstract:The interaction between medical plastics and drugs is complex. Drug absorption into plastics may affect drug dosage and the migration of plastics' additives into a drug solution may affect drug composition. We investigated the stability of those plastics which may be used in infusion systems to inject liquid volatile anaesthetic drugs directly into an anaesthetic breathing system. Samples of two types of polypropylene from a syringe barrel and plunger and low- and high-density polyethylene from extension tubing were exposed to isoflurane and sevoflurane for 1, 7 or 250 days. All samples were from the same batches. Samples of the plastics (n = 24) and the liquid volatile anaesthetics (n = 24) were subjected to Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy to produce series of absorption spectra. By reference to control sample absorption spectra, this allows detection of anaesthetic drug absorption into the plastics or migration of the plastics or their additives into the liquid anaesthetics. We found no evidence of migration of the plastic components or their additives into the liquid anaesthetic drugs at any of the exposure periods. Similarly, we found no evidence of absorption of isoflurane or sevoflurane by any of the plastic components during short-term exposure of either 1 or 7 days. However, there was evidence of some absorption of the anaesthetic drugs by the polyethylene plastics after about 8 months' exposure. It would appear that low- and high-density polyethylene and polypropylene are suitably safe for use in infusion systems for the direct injection of isoflurane and sevoflurane into anaesthetic breathing systems.

 
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