1Seth GS Medical College & Kem Hospital, Mumbai, India
Healthcare as a whole and interventional radiology departments contribute significantly to the world’s carbon footprint due to the use of equipments, which are single-use and contain extensive packings. This literature review aims to identify and outline:
The waste burden of IR departments and ways to reduce it.
Quantify the financial and environmental impacts of the waste generated.
Review green initiatives and give recommendations to implement a green policy in IR departments.
Material(s) and Method(s):
A literature review was performed using all major databases by using the keywords, ‘interventional radiology,’ ‘recycling,’ ‘waste,’ ‘green initiatives,’ ‘global warming,’ ‘cost,’ ‘greening’ and ‘sustainability.’
Hospitals alone can produce more than 7000 tonnes of solid waste in a day, with operation theatres contributing to more than 20% of the total hospital waste. Green initiatives include reducing, reusing, recycling, and strict waste segregation. Implementing a green policy in IR will go a long way in reducing the quantity of waste we produce and the costs associated with its disposal. IRs can collaborate with suppliers to reformulate procedure packs to reduce unnecessary items and packaging, provide incentives to use soon-to-expire equipment, using operator preference cards, and increase awareness about equipment costs. Common barriers to improving waste management include a lack of leadership, misconceptions regarding infectious risk, concerns about increased workload, negative staff attitude, and resistance of change; most of these barriers can be overcome by educating the staff about the benefits of sustainable healthcare practices and clearing misconceptions.
IRs have a crucial role in making healthcare more sustainable. Making small changes in our practices will lead to an increase in efficiency, higher saving, and contribute to environmental sustainability.