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NewsCAP: Operating rooms (ORs) generate as much as a third of all hospital waste

AJN The American Journal of Nursing: September 2012 - Volume 112 - Issue 9 - p 18
doi: 10.1097/01.NAJ.0000418914.02538.d6
In the News

Operating rooms (ORs) generate as much as a third of all hospital waste. An analysis of 65 studies has uncovered practical ways to reduce waste and costs in the OR. Biohazard waste requires high-energy processing or costly disposal, yet as much as 85% of waste tossed into biohazard containers is nonhazardous; careful sorting reduced by half the amount of biohazard waste and saved $89,000 at one Pennsylvania hospital. Switching from single-use to reusable gowns and linens reduced another medical center's waste by 138,748 lbs. and saved $38,000 in hauling costs. The blue sterile wrap that covers surgical instruments makes up 19% of OR solid waste, and a Massachusetts hospital decreased its solid waste by 5,606 lbs. and saved the facility $29,843 by switching to reusable metal cases. These examples show that green OR practices “are easily implemented, require low capital investment, have a short payback period, and can generate substantial cost savings,” write the authors in a report published online June 11 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.