Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Green Nephrology: the 2012 Zero Waste Challenge

I thought it would be useful to hear from my colleague Dr. Frances Mortimer who is the Medical Director for  Sustainable Healthcare and her views on Kidney units. Please see her comments below.

Kidney units can make big carbon and £ savings by slimming down their use of dialysis consumables.  Units in the Green Nephrology Network are making this their mission in 2012, with the help of a simple guide, designed to help them to spot opportunities and measure savings.  
Leaving unnecessary items unopened saves far more money and carbon than recycling them after use, because most of the impact is due to their manufacture rather than waste disposal.
And dialysis units carry out so many treatments, that savings quickly multiply up. In Fife, the removal of unnecessary consumables (saline bags, giving sets and dressing packs) saved £24,900 in 2011.

Kidney care staff are challenged to carry out a simple inventory of equipment use per dialysis session - to identify and pursue possible savings, and let us know how much money and carbon they are saving by the end of the year.
We'll be featuring their successes and frustrations in the Green Nephrology blog spot and forum.
Dr Frances Mortimer,
Medical Director, Centre for Sustainable Healthcare

Tips from dialysis units:
   Hanging saline bags for reinfusion may not be needed any longer as many dialysis machines now provide online infusion.
   Changing the size of bicarbonate cartridges can reduce packaging and bicarbonate wastage.
    Dressings packs can be slimmed in consultation with suppliers, or substituted with individual items such as gauze swabs.
  In Cornwall, no longer setting up stations in advance has saved 5 full sets of dialysis equipments per week.
    Use of plastic Griff Bins® for routine clinical waste is expensive and may not be necessary.
Units can save tens of thousands per year and eliminate the need for acid canisters by arranging for central acid delivery.
Please click here for more case studies

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