In a recently published article from the American Journal of Public Health, medical device reprocessing is highlighted as one of several key strategies hospitals should undertake to “reduce the environmental emissions of surgeries.” The article, Strategies to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Laparoscopic Surgery by Cassandra L. Thiel PhD, Noe C. Woods MD, and Melissa M. Bilec PhDAuthor was published April 26 — just in time for CleanMed meeting now in San Diego!
The authors note the following conclusions:
To reduce the environmental emissions of surgeries, health care providers need to implement a combination of approaches, including minimizing materials, moving away from certain heat-trapping anesthetic gases, maximizing instrument reuse or single-use device reprocessing, and reducing off-hour energy use in the operating room. These strategies can reduce the carbon footprint of an average laparoscopic hysterectomy by up to 80%. Recycling alone does very little to reduce environmental footprint.