Advanced education on
instruments and endoscopes

Operating theatres are known to be particularly energy intensive and one key initiative to reduce their carbon footprint is through adopting a circular economy approach, which includes the use of reusable surgical instrumentation. While this can cut costs at a time when resources are overstretched, it must not come at the cost of patient safety. In this article, Daniel Coole highlights the need for education on surgical instruments.

To help the NHS meet its carbon targets, in 2022 the Intercollegiate Green Theatre Checklist outlined pivotal actions to minimise emissions associated with energy-intensive operations. Just last year, the landmark Green Surgery Report was launched, setting out further recommendations to cut the carbon footprint of surgical care.

A key part of those recommendations is to apply the circular economy principles to surgical products - from their design and manufacture, through to switching from single-use to reusable equivalents, optimising reprocessing of reusable equipment, and extending the lifespan of reusable products through quality repair and remanufacturing.1

However, while they bring sustainable benefits, reusable medical devices come with some challenges. Despite their durability and intended longevity, they are still subject to wear and tear over time due to repeated use, sterilisation processes, and handling.

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