Trending towards disposable equipment – a very wasteful option: greater natural resource and manufacturing utilization, and landfill or incineration.
Equipment choices are generally not based environmental consideration. Choices are typically based on efficacy and ease of use, patient safety, and cost.
Careful examination of Life Cycle Assessments can improve environmental purchasing, especially when weighing the benefits and costs associated with disposable vs reusable equipment.
Reprocessing is a viable alternative for single-use devices that are evaluated to be mechanically suitable for reuse, sterilized, and repackaged for use. Reprocessing is strictly regulated to ensure patient safety and reprocessed equipment must meet FDA standards for reuse.
The metals, plastics, and computer parts of anesthesia machines and monitors, and the toxins they release, have a negative environmental impact. Consider environmentally preferable disposal by working with hospital waste management, recycling recyclable parts, or refurbishing or donating to medical missions.
A variety of batteries used in many pieces of equipment are acceptable for current recycling programs.
Reprocess single use devices that are mechanically suitable for use