PUBLISHED October 21, 2009 by Medscape
Anyone visiting an operating room would be impressed by the staggering amount of garbage produced even after a simple 90-minute surgery. In fact, a routine operation in a hospital often produces more waste than a family of 4 might produce in an entire week. One reason operating rooms generate so much waste is the need for absolute sterility of surgical supplies and equipment, which creates the need for extra packaging and creates an impetus for the use of disposable equipment. There is a large environmental and financial cost to such waste, however, and it is especially important in these times to be mindful of such concerns. As such, this article will review what is known about waste generation in the hospital and operating room and will discuss various waste management strategies. Medscape_October 2009.