Here are a few articles that have done work within the perioperative waste sphere as well! We believe it is important to highlight such work as it will bring awareness to the issue whilst showing the reasons behind our efforts.
The United Nations General Assembly in September 2021 will bring countries together at a critical time for marshalling collective action to tackle the global environmental crisis. They will meet again at the biodiversity summit in Kunming, China, and at the climate conference (COP26) in Glasgow, United Kingdom. Ahead of these pivotal meetings, we — the editors of health journals worldwide — call for urgent action to keep average global temperature increases below 1.5° C, halt the destruction of nature, and protect health.
A circular economy involves maintaining manufactured products in circulation, distributing resource and environmental costs over time and with repeated use. In a linear supply chain, manufactured products are used once and discarded. In high-income nations, health care systems increasingly rely on linear supply chains composed of single-use disposable medical devices. This has resulted in increased health care expenditures and health care–generated waste and pollution, with associated public health damage. It has also caused the supply chain to be vulnerable to disruption and demand fluctuations. Transformation of the medical device industry to a more circular economy would advance the goal of providing increasingly complex care in a low-emissions future. Barriers to circularity include perceptions regarding infection prevention, behaviors of device consumers and manufacturers, and regulatory structures that encourage the proliferation of disposable medical devices. Complementary policy- and market-driven solutions are needed to encourage systemic transformation.
The management of disposable and reusable supplies might have an impact on the cost efficiency of the Operating Room (OR). This study aimed to evaluate the cost and reasons for wasted supplies in the OR during surgical procedures.
Large amounts of waste in hospitals are generated in the operating rooms from disposable surgical supplies. Tonsillectomy/adenotonsillectomy (T&A) cases use many disposable supplies that are not recyclable. It is critical to reduce disposable waste, as such waste directly affects the environment and increases health care costs. The authors noticed a difference between the number of disposable items prepared, available, but almost never used, for each tonsillectomy case between a children's hospital setting and a university ambulatory surgery center setting. The aims were the following: (1) identify what disposable medical supplies were unnecessarily opened for each case, (2) eliminate all disposable medical waste that was not critical to the case in both settings, and (3) determine the cost reduction at both hospital and surgery center facilities by revising the current disposable instruments/supplies pulled for tonsillectomy cases. The authors report projected cost savings and reduction in waste for one children's hospital and nationally based on their waste reduction.