Needless Waste and the Sustainability of Cataract Surgery

July 15, 2020  |  Journal of the American Academy of Opthalmology

Few health care settings are as regulated as the operating room (OR). Whether cataract surgery is performed in an ambulatory surgery center or a hospital outpatient department, OR licensure, accreditation, and regulatory compliance entail enormous costs. Operating room regulations to prevent surgical infection govern the physical facility (e.g., ventilation), staff (e.g., attire and hand hygiene), protocols (e.g., instrument cleaning and sterilization), and supplies and drugs (e.g., single vs. multiuse).

The overwhelming majority of surgeons and nurses want more reusable options, more discretion on when to reuse products labelled for single use, and greater manufacturer consideration of carbon footprint.

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