Healthcare makes a significant contribution of global carbon emissions (7% in Australia). Hospitals make a large proportion of healthcare emissions and the operating theatre is one of the largest drivers of emissions within hospitals. Thus reducing emissions from operating theatres can have a meaningful impact on global emissions.
Luckily there are many things we can do to make our theatres more efficient and less wasteful.
Team: To get started, just like an operation, you’ll need a team (Guide: How to start a Green Theatres Group). We’ve found including keen representatives from all elements of the theatre team works well: from anaesthesia to procurement to nursing to sterilising!
Act: Then you’ll need to act on the low hanging fruit, to inspire and engage everyone (guide coming soon: what first for Green Theatres). Removing Desflurane from your hospital is an ‘easy win’ but for many ‘recycling’ is the gateway activity. Conducting a leak test on your nitrous oxide pipeline may be a highly effective carbon reduction project.
Network: Once you’re established make sure you share your success and challenges with nearby/related institutions, so you can all progress as fast as possible (guide coming soon: starting a Green Theatres Network). Catch up for dinner, network and solve the more difficult challenges together (what to do about nitrous and obstetrics!?)
We’re always keen to hear your wisdom and experiences, please get in touch via our contact us link or twitter @WAGreenTheatres.