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Title: How much do we throw away in the intensive care unit? An observational point prevalence study of Australian and New Zealand ICUs.
Author: Anstey, M.
Trent, L.
Bhonagiri, D.
Hammond, N.
Knowles, S.
McGain, F.
Institutional Author: The George Institute for Global Health and the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Society Clinical Trials Group, Steering Committee members, Coordinating centre List of investigators, Site List of investigators
Issue Date: 2023
Publication Title: Critical Care and Resuscitaiton
Volume: 25
Issue: 2
Start Page: 78
End Page: 83
Abstract: Objective During the current COVID pandemic, waste generation has been more evident with increased use of single use masks, gowns and other personal protective equipment. We aimed to understand the scale of waste generation, recycling rates and participation in Australian and New Zealand (ANZ) ICUs. Design This is a prospective cross-sectional point prevalence study, as part of the 2021 ANZICS Point Prevalence Program. Specific questions related to waste and sustainability practices were asked at the site and patient level. Setting and participants ANZ adult ICUs and their patients on the day of the study. Main outcome measures Amount of single use items disposed of per shift, as well as the engagement of the site with sustainability and recycling practices. Results In total, 712 patients (median number of patients per ICU = 17, IQR 11–30) from 51 ICUs across ANZ were included in our study; 55% of hospitals had a sustainability officer, and recycling paper (86%) and plastics (65%) were frequent, but metal recycling was limited (27%). Per patient bed space per 12-h shift there was recycling of less than 40% paper, glass, intravenous fluid bags, medication cups and metal instruments. A median of 10 gowns (IQR 3–19.5), 10 syringes (4.5–18) and gloves 30 (18–49) were disposed of per bed space, per 12-h shift. These numbers increased significantly when comparing patients with and without infection control precautions in place. Conclusions In ANZ ICUs, we found utilisation of common ICU consumables to be high and associated with low recycling rates. Interventions to abate resource utilisation and augment recycling are required to improve environmental sustainability in intensive care units.
Description: Includes data from Grampians Health
Internal ID Number: 02268
Type: Journal Article
Appears in Collections:Research Output

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