Learning Objectives Global warming is a pressing issue. Healthcare waste contributes substantially to the world’s carbon footprint. With IR playing an indispensable role in contemporary healthcare, the environmental impact of waste generated by IR procedures cannot be underestimated. The purpose of this literature review is 1) To identify waste generated and ways of reducing waste in Interventional Radiology (IR) practice. 2) To understand potential barriers of implementing green initiatives. 3) To quantify the environmental and financial impacts of waste generated and green initiatives.
Materials and Methods A literature review was performed through electronic search of MEDLINE (PubMed, Ovid, SpringerLink and Wiley Online Library), ProQuest Nursing & Allied Health Source and WorldCat.org databases using keywords ‘radiology’, ‘interventional radiology’, ‘endovascular’, ‘recycling’, ‘waste’, ‘environment friendly’, ‘sustainability’, ‘greening’, ‘cost’, ‘climate change’, ‘global warming’ and ‘operating theatre’.
Results Greening initiatives include reducing, reusing and recycling waste, as well as strict waste segregation. Interventional radiologists can engage with suppliers to reformulate procedure packs to minimize unnecessary items and packaging. Opened, unused items can be prevented if there is better communication between doctors and support staff and increased awareness of wasted equipment cost amongst staff. Incentives to use soon-to-expire equipment can be offered. Power consumption can be reduced by powering down operating room lights and workstations when not in use, switching to light emitting diode (LED) and motion-activated lighting. Surgical hand wash can be replaced with alcohol-based hand rubs to reduce water usage. Common barriers to improving waste management include lack of leadership, misconception regarding infectious risk, lack of data, concerns about increased workload, negative staff attitudes and resistance to change. Education remains a top priority to engage all staff in sustainable healthcare practices.
Conclusion Interventional radiologists have a crucial role to make healthcare more sustainable. By making small changes in our practices, rewarding results in terms of financial savings and environmental sustainability can be achieved.
Disclosures P. Shum: None. H. Kok: 2; C; Northern Health. J. Maingard: None. C. Barras: 2; C; Royal Adelaide Hospital. H. Asadi: 2; C; Austin Health, Monash Health.
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