Waste Anesthetic Gas (WAG) is the small amount of anesthetic gases that leak into the surrounding room during medical procedures. In the PACU, WAG may be exhaled by patients recovering from anesthesia. This gas is not typically harmful to the patient, but the health effects could be cumulative for nurses working in the patient's breathing zone.1, 2
The above infrared video shows a routine check performed by a nurse. Waste anesthetic gas is breathed out by the patient and lingers directly in the nurse’s breathing zone.