Sample Case Study on utilizing best practices during surgery procedures


The following article expostulates on the case study that sought to show that utilizing best practices during surgery procedures could alleviate the level of exposure employees experience from waste anesthetic gases. The study therefore sought to find to evaluate the “worst case” scenarios of waste anesthetic gas (WAG) exposure by utilizing members of the dental unit as their control group. The gases studied therefore entailed; Nitrous oxide, and the family of the halogenated gases which include; Sevofluraneis, oflurane and desflurane. The authors were therefore able to communicate their findings to the management of the hospital who came up with appropriate practices to stem the level of exposure employees had to WAG (Wang et al.).

Findings of the study

After remediation measures had been adopted and the new work practices implemented in target medical departments. Nitrous oxide exposure levels reduced by 98.2% while Sevoflurane exposure levels reduced by 84.7%. In addition, after elimination of the work practices that contributed to the highest levels of exposure among employees, there was a reduction of 95% in reduction rating a figure achieved by utilizing Bayesian statistics (Wang et al.).

Points I agreed with

I agreed with the arguments proposed by the authors that some of the work practices adopted by employees were major factors which increased the risk of exposure. In addition, the plan of the authors to report their findings to the safety manager in the hospital was both tactical and useful since every hospital is unique and the safety challenges faced by each department are unique. Therefore, I was able to identify with the methods utilized by the authors to involve the safety manager in their study the need to involve the chief of anesthesiology when coming up with new work practices models (Wang et al.). In addition, I also agreed with their findings in which they found out that human error is a key factor since they identified that elimination of the negative work practices led to a reduction in exposure levels.

 My disagreements points

The decision of the researchers to determine the exposure levels of the waste gas when the surgeons were operating seems unethical to me. I therefore disagree with their method of research even though it yielded the best results (Portaluppi, Francesco, Smolensky, and Touitou). The reasons for my revulsion is because there was no way to determine if the levels of exposure to the employees could prove to be fatal in the near future since their study did not seek to determine the levels of exposure to the above gases the control group was exposed to in previous occasions.

What I would change about the case study

If I was in a position of authority, I wouldn’t utilize human beings as lab rats in the above experiment. Instead I would recommend that “Chimpanzees” be utilized for the control group in the 1st experiment. The same levels of work practices that led to the high exposure to waste gases would be initiated and chimpanzees would be utilized as the control group. In addition, the employees would incorporate best practices and then the levels of gaseous exposure would be measured when the employees were now present in the room to ensure that their level of exposure is minimal. The above steps would therefore ensure that the employees are not used as “guinea pigs” (Portaluppi, Francesco, Smolensky, and Touitou).


As noted in the study, exposure to waste gases should be eliminated since exposure to the above gases has a dangerous health effect on the individuals concerned. However, to maintain excellent standards in research, researchers should seek to utilize other models to study any health pattern instead of using human beings as part of their control group.


Works Cited

Portaluppi, Francesco, Michael H. Smolensky, and Yvan Touitou. “Ethics and methods for biological rhythm research on animals and human beings.” Chronobiology International27.9-10 (2010): 1911-1929.