The link between the medical industry (particularly medical schools) and environmental impact is more clear today than ever before. As part of its attempt to clean up its act, environmentally-friendly medical supplies are rapidly developing to help the industry become more eco-friendly.
For the medical industry, practices look for ways of decreasing energy, using resources carefully, and reducing pollution. So what is currently the problem? Well, hospitals produce a huge volume of waste and this makes them a major contributor to environmental impact.
Firstly, estimates suggest the United States alone produces one million tonnes of non-infectious medical plastics. Of this waste, operating rooms produce a large amount at roughly 70% of hospital waste per day.
Secondly, research has looked into the environmental impact of the medical industries in leading countries. It has found the United States, Australia, Canada, and England combined emit an estimated 748 million metric tons of greenhouse gases each year. This is more than the output of all but 6 nations worldwide showing .
Eco-friendly Cardiovascular Equipment
Cardiovascular departments are not only expected to save patients from possible heart issues. They are now expected to save on waste by becoming more sustainable. For example, recovery of platinum catheter tips used in treatment makes this possible.
The impact is twofold as it helps reduce the need to produce, and keeps costs low for hospitals. This impact provides a strong indication that all departments can improve.
Environmentally-friendly Medical Supplies and ENT Equipment
The next example is from ENT treatment. As you can imagine, ear nose and throat testing equipment use single-use plastic in the transport of patient samples. However, research is making this area more sustainable by introducing alternatives.
Such examples include plant-based plastics and recycled cardboard which are making supply chains more eco-friendly. They benefit from the fact they are biodegradable.
Environmentally-friendly Medical Supplies and Mental Health
Medical health experts now use natural light for interventions if possible. This is because it creates a positive environment for patients. Simple as this may seem, it also reduces the need for emissions and works to improve the mental health of patients.
Understanding Environmentally-friendly Medical Supplies
Understanding of the link between the environment and the medical industry is key to reducing waste and emissions. In order for this to happen, those who work in the profession must be well informed. It is therefore down to those teaching and outlining practices to pass it on in medical schools.
This hasn’t always been the case. For example, reports produced in medical colleges have previously omitted climate change content. This has left a gap in knowledge for workers about the link.
The University of California has taken positive steps on the topic and begun covering food scarcity and sustainability in their courses, recognising the clear link. This is important for the industry moving forward as it raises awareness.