235 - Sustainability in the Operating Room: Implementing Sustainable Development Goal #12 - "Ensure Sustainable Production & Consumption"
Description: Despite awareness of global warming in recent years, United States hospitals, and more specifically, the operating room, churns out billions of tons of waste every year generating a disproportionately large carbon footprint in relation to the rest of the healthcare environment. Simple, low-cost strategies are proven to have immediate and long-lasting effects for the good of the people and planet they serve and become a bridge to more integrated and complex changes that increase health of all people and ensure financial stewardship of all resources.For the past 40 years, information, technology and innovation in surgical care has resulted in a trend towards more single-use products to ensure protection from blood borne diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B and other pathogens. There is a moral and ethical obligation and connection between knowledge and action; a responsibility to adhere to a plan to mitigate the adverse effects of production and consumption patterns. As professional nurses, we have the responsibility and the knowledge. We must now take action to decrease the impact of the operating room on the collective environment.Though the United States is not formally committed to meeting the SDG’s set forth by the WHO for the global community, there are several efforts engaged around the country who are working on decreasing the waste both in the production and consumption arenas of surgical services. As stated by the WHO in 2009, hospitals have a responsibility to ensure that healthcare is sustainable yet the “machine” of health in the United States is the Hospital and within the hospital lies the operating room which is proportionately a very small area that generates a disproportionately high volume of waste. Healthcare facilities in the U. S. are responsible for more than 4 billion pounds of waste annually and 70% of that waste comes from the Operating Room and Labor & Delivery.The top five recommendations to mitigate the impact of waste in the OR based on the literature review study results which are: (1) operating room waste reduction and segregation,(2) reprocessing of single-use medical devices,(3) environmentally preferable purchasing,(4) energy consumption management, and(5) pharmaceutical waste management. We explore each of these strategies in light of the systematic literature review performed. Nurses are at the point of contact with a very large patient population and are in a position to recognize and take action on issues relating to sustainability in the environments of practice, especially in high product use areas such as the operating room. Sustainability is a social justice issue that is rooted in our tradition and charge as professional nurses. Encouraging healthy healing environments will ensure a healthy population not only for today but for the generations yet to come. 96 Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE