Intended for healthcare professionals


Reusable gowns and drapes in surgery could reduce carbon footprint, analysis shows

BMJ 2023 ; 381 doi: (Published 14 April 2023) Cite this as: BMJ 2023;381:p853
  1. Florence Wedmore
  1. The BMJ

Laundering surgical gowns, drapes, and instrument table drapes rather than throwing away single use versions of these items could go a long way to reducing the carbon footprint of surgery, researchers have said after finding that more than two thirds of emissions in five common operations came from disposable items.

For their analysis researchers from Brighton and Sussex Medical School and the University of Warwick observed the five most commonly performed operations in NHS theatres and counted all the instruments, drapes, devices, and other items that a surgeon typically used in the course of the operation. They then calculated the carbon footprint of all these items from …

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