BackgroundIt is common practice to classify waste from the operating theater as "clinical". The development of sustainable policies could have a significant impact. In the first phase, our study aims to measure general surgery waste and to assess the potential financial and carbon savings of appropriate recycling. Based on this information, we will plan for a second phase in which educational interventions will be put in place to promote waste segregation in surgical environments.MethodsWe conducted a preliminary cognitive audit of the most common general surgery procedures to examine the types and quantity of waste produced. We calculated the economic and environmental impacts of disposing of waste treated as clinical or general, and we measured how much of it could actually be recycled. Then, we attempted a projection of the savings we could expect if recycling policies were implemented.ResultsWe found that more than 30% of total waste was actually recyclable. Considering a projection based on annual procedures performed in our hospital, we estimated that for each kind of surgical procedure, we could expect a reduction of the carbon footprint by approximately 6%, and an average 3% reduction in costs every year, only by improving waste segregation in the general surgery operating rooms.ConclusionThere could be a great potential for reducing environmental and economic footprint of the operating rooms by promoting waste recycling protocols. Surgeons are in a unique position to implement for these protocols. Interventions should be codesigned with theater staff to create a "green culture".

Toward Environmentally sustainable surgery: Waste recycling in general surgery operating room. Preliminary cognitive audit

Romano, Lucia;Giuliani, Antonio
;
Muselli, Mario;Lupi, Ettore;Iacomino, Enzo;Vistoli, Fabio
2024-01-01

Abstract

BackgroundIt is common practice to classify waste from the operating theater as "clinical". The development of sustainable policies could have a significant impact. In the first phase, our study aims to measure general surgery waste and to assess the potential financial and carbon savings of appropriate recycling. Based on this information, we will plan for a second phase in which educational interventions will be put in place to promote waste segregation in surgical environments.MethodsWe conducted a preliminary cognitive audit of the most common general surgery procedures to examine the types and quantity of waste produced. We calculated the economic and environmental impacts of disposing of waste treated as clinical or general, and we measured how much of it could actually be recycled. Then, we attempted a projection of the savings we could expect if recycling policies were implemented.ResultsWe found that more than 30% of total waste was actually recyclable. Considering a projection based on annual procedures performed in our hospital, we estimated that for each kind of surgical procedure, we could expect a reduction of the carbon footprint by approximately 6%, and an average 3% reduction in costs every year, only by improving waste segregation in the general surgery operating rooms.ConclusionThere could be a great potential for reducing environmental and economic footprint of the operating rooms by promoting waste recycling protocols. Surgeons are in a unique position to implement for these protocols. Interventions should be codesigned with theater staff to create a "green culture".
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11697/235199
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