Picture the environmental life cycle of many disposable surgical instruments. Iron ore from Western Australia is shipped to China and smelted, fashioned into stainless steel surgical instruments in Pakistan and exported as single-use instruments. In Australia, clinicians use these instruments once, then discard them.
|So many hospital items are used once and then thrown away.|
So much that comes into patient contact is routinely used only once. This includes gowns, surgical drapes and covers for patients, anaesthetic breathing equipment, face masks and bed mats.
On top of this, energy is wasted in hospitals because heating, cooling and devices are left on when not in use. It’s not surprising then to learn that health care produces 7% of Australia’s carbon emissions; hospitals produce about half of this.
Read the story from The Conversation by an Associate Professor from the University of Sydney, Forbes McGain - “Five ways hospitals can reduce their environmental footprint.”