F.TAN1, B.LIM2, S.Q.THAM1, G.Y.GOH1, P.DHARSHINI1
MOH Holdings Pte Ltd (MOHH)1, Tan Tock Seng Hospital2
The healthcare sector, and in particular operating theatre waste, contributes significantly to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and global warming.
Ethics approval was obtained from the National Healthcare Group Domain Specific Review Board (NHG DSRB). Data was collected via an online questionnaire to all staff in the Department of Anaesthesiology, Intensive care and Pain Medicine at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. Staff were surveyed on the attitudes and barriers to promoting environmental sustainability, as well as possible methods to improve recycling in the operating theatre.
Based on the data collected, majority were keen to recycle at work (n=56, 93.3%). Most respondents (32, 53.3%) always practiced a low flow anaesthesia technique (1L/min or less), with majority selecting sevoflurane (41, 68.3%) as the preferred volatile agent for maintenance of general anaesthesia. The top 3 main barriers to recycling included time/convenience (41, 68.3%), lack of recycling facilities (39, 65%) and inadequate knowledge/information (38, 63.3%).Majority felt that implementation of environmentally sustainable practices in the residency curriculum (25, 41.7%) as well as morning departmental teachings and journal clubs (41, 68.3%) were effective strategies to increase awareness of recycling and environmental sustainability efforts. Majority of staff surveyed were keen to dedicate more time to assist in recycling initiatives (44, 73.3%).
Based on our study, a majority of anaesthetists are keen to recycle at work and felt that more could be done to optimize sustainability. This study highlights the need for educational programmes and visual reminders to improve waste management in the operating theatre environment.