The global inhalation anesthesia market size was valued at USD 1.35 billion in 2022. It is estimated to reach USD 1.84 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 4.9% during the forecast period (2023–2031).
Inhalation anesthesia refers to administering anesthetic agents through inhalation to induce a state of general anesthesia. It is a common method used in medical procedures to ensure patient comfort, pain relief, and a controlled level of unconsciousness during surgeries or other invasive interventions. Inhalation anesthetics are administered by inhaling gases or volatile liquids specifically formulated for anesthesia. These anesthetic agents are typically administered using specialized equipment such as anesthesia machines, vaporizers, and breathing circuits.
Anesthetic agents are used during surgical procedures to control pain, breathing, blood pressure, blood flow, and heart rate and rhythm. Inhalational anesthesia is primarily used for the induction of general anesthesia and sedation purposes. Sevoflurane, desflurane, and nitrous oxide are inhalational anesthetics most widely used. Inhalational anesthetics usually result in respiratory depression, a reduction in arterial blood pressure and cerebral metabolic demand, and a rise in cerebral blood flow.
Chronic illnesses, including cancer, genetic anomalies, and infectious diseases, are becoming more common globally. The World Health Organization (WHO) concedes that cancer is one of the primary reasons for disease and mortality worldwide, with an estimated 18 million cases and a predicted 70 percent increase over the next two decades. Infections known to be caused by strains of cancer are most prominent in low- and middle-income countries. In addition, the economic impact of cancer and related materials is massive, with the total cost in 2010 being around USD 1.16 trillion. Treatment of most of these diseases requires the use of surgical procedures. Therefore, the high prevalence rate of these diseases has led to a rise in the number of surgeries conducted annually.
In addition, complex and sophisticated surgical procedures in vulnerable age groups require enhanced inhalation anesthetics for effective health monitoring, driving the market growth. The growing prevalence of chronic illnesses, the rising number of surgical interventions, and the economic implications associated with these conditions drive the demand for improved inhalation anesthesia. In the face of difficult diseases, improvements in inhalation anesthetic techniques and agents lead to better patient outcomes, surgical procedures, and overall healthcare management.
A significant increase in severe road accidents worldwide has led to a higher demand for inhalation anesthesia in the healthcare industry. Road traffic accidents have become a leading cause of injury-related deaths globally, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Effective anesthesia during treatment has become crucial, with millions injured and many losing their lives yearly in road accidents. Following road accidents, individuals often require immediate medical attention, including surgical procedures to address their injuries. The severity of these wounds can vary from fractures and internal organ damage to head and spinal cord injuries.
Additionally, anesthesia is used during surgical treatments to ensure the finest possible patient care and to lessen pain and discomfort. The rise in severe road accidents has significantly strained healthcare systems globally. As a result, there has been a surge in demand for inhalation anesthesia because it is an essential part of the all-inclusive care for victims of traffic accidents. Healthcare providers continue to focus on refining anesthesia practices, adopting advanced techniques, and optimizing patient outcomes in this context.
Pharmaceutical products such as inhalation anesthetics are required to aid in surgical procedures of unwell individuals without any side effects. Therefore, they are scrutinized thoroughly by regulating authorities, such as FDA, before being delivered to the local populace for reliable adoption. Such regulating authorities set high standards to drain unreliable and defective products and services. In addition, the current trend in FDA drug approval exhibits a drastic drop in pharmaceutical approvals compared to prior authorizations, as FDA issued more rejections than typical rejections in the past few years. Moreover, stringent regulations set by FDA in surgical procedures also hinder the growth of the inhalation anesthesia market.
Emerging economies of Asia-Pacific and LAMEA offer lucrative growth opportunities for expanding the inhalation anesthesia market due to improvements in healthcare infrastructure and a rise in demand for better healthcare. In addition, the rise in incidences of road accidents, surgical procedures, and various diseases such as cancer and gastrointestinal disorders boost the demand for inhalation anesthesia. Moreover, the surge in healthcare reforms in developing nations is anticipated to offer remunerative opportunities for market expansion.
Furthermore, an increase in investments in healthcare and research and development (R&D) in developing countries such as India, China, and Brazil supports the growth of the inhalation anesthesia market. These investments led to the development of advanced anesthesia technologies, improved anesthesia delivery systems, and the introduction of innovative products in the market.
The global inhalation anesthesia market is bifurcated into products, applications, and end-user.
Based on products, the global inhalation anesthesia market is bifurcated into sevoflurane, desflurane, isoflurane, and nitrous oxide.
The sevoflurane segment dominates the global market and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 3.5% over the forecast period. Sevoflurane falls under the category of medicines known as general anesthetics. It is primarily used for general anesthesia, i.e., loss of consciousness before and during surgical procedures. The preferred mode of administration of sevoflurane is inhalation. It can be used as a standalone anesthetic but is typically given in conjunction with other drugs. This helps produce more effective anesthesia in a few patient groups. In addition, sevoflurane has been used for anesthetics purposes for a decade. Various studies have suggested hemodynamic and recovery characteristics following anesthesia maintenance with sevoflurane.
Furthermore, several studies have revealed the cardioprotective effect of sevoflurane in cardiac surgery and its protective effect on other organs. It is often used as an induction agent as other options irritate a patient's airway. Moreover, the sevoflurane inhalation anesthesia market is growing quickly because induction of anesthesia with sevoflurane is favorable in neonates compared to isoflurane and desflurane, as it lacks airway irritation.
Based on applications, the global inhalation anesthesia market is bifurcated into induction and maintenance.
The induction segment owns the highest market share and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 3.8% over the forecast period. Sevoflurane and other inhalation anesthetics have a profound physiological impact on the neurological, pulmonary, and cardiovascular systems. These modifications are crucial for achieving and maintaining a state of general anesthesia during surgical procedures. Sevoflurane, one of the most frequently used anesthesia induction agents, has notable effects on the cardiovascular system. It causes vasodilation, which relaxes the smooth muscles in blood vessels and decreases systemic vascular resistance and blood pressure.
Additionally, sevoflurane can have a depressant effect on the contractility of the heart muscle. Still, at moderate concentrations, it generally maintains cardiac output with a minimal negative impact on myocardial function. Although rare, the administration of sevoflurane can potentially cause arrhythmias. In terms of the pulmonary system, inhalation of sevoflurane affects respiratory function. It reduces respiratory drive and muscle tone, leading to a decrease in tidal volume and minute ventilation. Sevoflurane also acts as a bronchodilator, helping to alleviate airway resistance and facilitate smoother breathing during anesthesia.
Based on end-user, the global inhalation anesthesia market is bifurcated into hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers.
The hospital segment is the highest contributor to the market and is projected to exhibit a CAGR of 3.7% over the forecast period. A hospital is a specialized healthcare institution that provides patient treatment by deploying specialized nursing staff and equipment. There are different kinds of hospitals, but the best known are general hospitals with emergency departments for serious health-related problems. All types of hospitals carry out wide-ranging treatments and surgical procedures in which anesthesia plays an important role in a smooth progression.
Hospitals possess the capacity to carry out very complex and lengthy surgical procedures, where such procedures can call for heavy sedation of patients for extended hours. This segment generates the most income among end-user segments because of the enormous number of surgical procedures performed in hospitals, and it is projected that this trend will persist during the forecast period. The continuous advancement of medical technology and the emphasis on patient safety further highlight the importance of anesthesia in hospitals. It ensures efficient and effective healthcare services, enabling successful surgical outcomes.
Based on region, the global inhalation anesthesia market is bifurcated into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa.
North America is the most significant global inhalation anesthesia market shareholder and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.89% over the forecast period. The North American inhalation anesthesia market is experiencing significant growth due to various factors. One of the important drivers is the increase in government funds allocated for research and development of novel inhalation anesthesia. These funds support the development of advanced anesthesia products and technologies, contributing to the market's growth. The region has also witnessed a rise in cancer incidence, which has led to an increased demand for anesthesia in cancer treatments. As the prevalence of cancer continues to rise, the need for surgical procedures and disease treatments also increases, driving the demand for inhalation anesthesia. In addition, North America's high acceptance of technological advancements further fuels market growth. The region has a well-established healthcare infrastructure and a strong focus on adopting innovative medical technologies. This creates a favorable environment for manufacturers to introduce advanced inhalation anesthesia products.
Europe is estimated to exhibit a CAGR of 4.01% over the forecast period. This is owing to the increased focus of the European government on the treatment of various disorders, the presence of well-established healthcare systems, and the rise in healthcare expenditure. Further, Europe is a diverse region with many countries highly contrasting with each other on the economic front; it consists of many highly developed and a few developing countries. This region is marked as the second largest attractive market for the implementation and development of modern surgical procedures. Significant increases in R&D activities for drug development and continuous application launches are expected to create new opportunities for market expansion during the forecast period. In Europe, key players are adopting partnerships as their key developmental strategy to introduce new inhalation anesthesia drugs/devices; such partnerships are expected to give an edge to these companies over others.
Asia-Pacific is expected to grow steadily over the forecast period. This region is densely populated, with India and China being the most populated countries. Its growth is augmented by increased demand for healthcare infrastructure, a rising number of hospitals in emerging countries, the developing R&D sector, a rise in healthcare reforms, and technological advancements in the healthcare field. In addition, China and India are anticipated to grow at the fastest CAGR during the forecast period, owing to the presence of the highest population base, significant surge in demand for rapid treatment of diseases; and rise in R&D activities in the pharmaceutical sector.
LAMEA is studied across Brazil, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and the rest of LAMEA. The region accounted for nearly 7% of the total share of the inhalation anesthesia market and is expected to show high potential growth during the forecast period. This is attributed to an increased focus on pharmaceutical research in this region. Furthermore, the increase in the prevalence of cancer and the rise in R&D activities for the enhancement of novel and safe anesthetic drugs significantly contribute to market growth.
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