Best Practices for Soda Lime Replacement in Veterinary Anesthesia Machines

Apr 14, 2016


Veterinary anesthesia machines use soda lime to absorb dangerous CO2 during surgical procedures. Without timely replacement, the soda lime will lose its ability to absorb CO2. This occurs after eight hours of average use in surgical procedures or two weeks after opening the package, even if the product isn’t used in a procedure.

Without timely replacement, your patients can be negatively impacted during surgical procedures. This includes challenges in keeping your patient under anesthesia, higher levels of CO2, production of carbon monoxide, compound A and heat from desiccation, and finally, the risk of preventable patient injury or death.

For safer procedures, the soda lime in your anesthesia machine must be replaced regularly based on average use. If you do five surgical procedures per week, you should replace the soda lime weekly. A simple recommendation is to start off each week by changing out your soda lime. Per Donald Sawyer, DVM, PhD, DACVA, a good practice to follow is to discard and replace absorbent after a period of 3 – 5 days. For more than five surgeries a week, or if you have a large percentage of dogs over 80 pounds, you may need to change your absorbent as often as every day.  At the absolute minimum, your soda lime should be replaced out every two weeks, even if not used.

Why Sodasorb® LF?

Sodasorb® LF is the next generation of CO2 absorbent with safety you can see. Unlike traditional soda lime products, Sodasorb® LF provides a high contrast, permanent, color change once its CO2 absorbent capability is exhausted.  Sodasorb® LF is specially formulated to safely prevent the degradation of anesthetic gases as well as inhibit the production of hazardous carbon monoxide, compound A and heat from desiccation during procedures.  With a longer lasting formula, Sodasorb® LF reduces cost by requiring fewer change outs than other soda lime products. Most anesthesia machines are designed to accept both the cost-effective, pre-packed Sodasorb® LF cartridges as well as canister-pak bags of loose absorbent.  Featuring a unique, uniform, pellet shape, Sodasorb® LF reduces caustic dust content that makes machine cleaning easier and reduces resistance to the anesthesia gas flow. Sodasorb® LF provides the proven reliability, safety and performance to ensure the comfort and well-being of both patients and staff in your clinic.

For more information on Sodasorb® LF or how to purchase, please visit us at