NHS waste

Bunkermagnet

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Last week I had to have emergency surgery on my left elbow. No problem really, although 24 hrs in one of highly uncomfortable reclining chairs wasnt fun. Anyway, I currently have to attend wound clinic every other day. Part of what theydo is to pack the wound, the gauze they cut with a fresh pair of sissors out of a sealed bag.
I asked what happens to those scissors after, and the reply was "binned". Everything is single use.
Surely they could be steamed and sterilised to reduce waste/material costs and even enviromental concerns, but no binned.
I thought being told to not bother crutches years ago when my daughter had them was them just being awkward, but single use it seams is the way.
I cant help but feel a massive waste of resources is going on.
 

Swango1980

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Last week I had to have emergency surgery on my left elbow. No problem really, although 24 hrs in one of highly uncomfortable reclining chairs wasnt fun. Anyway, I currently have to attend wound clinic every other day. Part of what theydo is to pack the wound, the gauze they cut with a fresh pair of sissors out of a sealed bag.
I asked what happens to those scissors after, and the reply was "binned". Everything is single use.
Surely they could be steamed and sterilised to reduce waste/material costs and even enviromental concerns, but no binned.
I thought being told to not bother crutches years ago when my daughter had them was them just being awkward, but single use it seams is the way.
I cant help but feel a massive waste of resources is going on.
Not that it is an area of my own expertise, but presumably re-usable scissors have to go through a relatively thorough, timely and costly sterilisation process. Including quite a lot of investment into processes and legislation. Whereas with single use, you have none of the hassle after you use them for the first time. Just bin them. So, if they are cheap enough, then they may actually be more cost effective than buying and "maintaining" reusable equipment?

In terms of environmental concerns, would the stuff they throw away not be recyclable? Whereas with reusable equipment, what environmental costs go into bio-waste, detergent, electrical costs, etc?

I'm sure it is something the NHS must be keeping an eye on, especially in this day and age of sustainability. So I'm guessing one-time use equipment must come out on top as being better than reusable equipment?

P.S. Hope your elbow mends quickly
 

TimShady

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Last week I had to have emergency surgery on my left elbow. No problem really, although 24 hrs in one of highly uncomfortable reclining chairs wasnt fun. Anyway, I currently have to attend wound clinic every other day. Part of what theydo is to pack the wound, the gauze they cut with a fresh pair of sissors out of a sealed bag.
I asked what happens to those scissors after, and the reply was "binned". Everything is single use.
Surely they could be steamed and sterilised to reduce waste/material costs and even enviromental concerns, but no binned.
I thought being told to not bother crutches years ago when my daughter had them was them just being awkward, but single use it seams is the way.
I cant help but feel a massive waste of resources is going on.
Your opinion on these things are very much shared amongst the staff in hospitals. I wonder if contracts were signed that mean it’s important to have constant need for new scissors…
 

jim8flog

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I have some of those scissors left over from when my wife had everything done at home.
They are one time use for a reason- they would not last long for anything else.

When my wife died you would be amazed at how much stuff they would not take back for fear of infection (MRSA)

Everything they did had to go through a very detailed sterilisation process.
 

Lord Tyrion

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There must be a terrifying amount thrown out each year from each hospital. So much stuff is single use. It makes our own recycling feel a bit insignificant but every bit helps I guess.
 

Hobbit

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The vast majority of stuff used is single use to control infection. And all of the scissors I saw wouldn’t last a week. They’re sharp when first opened but they’re not substantial in build.

The CSSD (sterilising) Dept in a large hospital is huge, and I mean HUGE. The last hospital I worked in was relatively large, and CSSD was at least half the size of a football pitch. It’s not cheap to run in terms of equipment, and is labour intensive.

The European country with the best control of infection stats is the Netherlands. Their single use practices are even more intensive than the UK’s. The ‘win’ for them, and what the U.K. is trying to achieve is to reduce re-admission rates. The cost of re-admission is huge. Someone re-admitted for a HAI hospital acquired infection will often be in hospital longer than for the initial reason they were admitted.

Single use is not a waste. It saves a fortune.
 

Tashyboy

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Missis T said at one time scissors used to be autoclaved. Until it became cheaper to throw them away ☹️
 

HowlingGale

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Got talking to one of the guys in charge of theatres years ago. He said CJD (mad cow disease) cross contamination was a ticking time-bomb on the tools. Sterilisation works on most of the bad stuff but at the time they couldn't get rid of the things that may cause CJD from the sterilised tools.

Not sure if they've sorted it with modern practices and CJD hasn't become the massive problem they were predicting, but going single use may have stopped it.

There was also an ortho surgeon who I found raking through a sharps bin looking for screwdrivers so he could fix up his car 🤣. Suppose he was doing his bit for the environment.
 

Bunkermagnet

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These scissors aren't substantial nor designed for constant and repetitive use.
Maybe not, but they are metal blades with moulded plastic handles. Firstly I doubt anyone is going to seperate the 2 material componintes for recycling, and secondly...I will have had 8 pairs thrown away by the end of this week just on them having to cut the silvered gauze to pack my wound. I fear many more pairs will be thrown away in total. I thought trying to be enviromental was not just cost, but resources too. Perhaps not.
 

PJ87

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Maybe not, but they are metal blades with moulded plastic handles. Firstly I doubt anyone is going to seperate the 2 material componintes for recycling, and secondly...I will have had 8 pairs thrown away by the end of this week just on them having to cut the silvered gauze to pack my wound. I fear many more pairs will be thrown away in total. I thought trying to be enviromental was not just cost, but resources too. Perhaps not.

I think the reinfection part was the most important part raised. Not worth the risk as it costs the NHS millions and endangers life's

Sorry to hear about your injury hopefully your back on the move soon

On the crutches bit I kept mine as instructed and so useful when someone hurts themselves and wants to borrow a set

That and crutch wars
 

BiMGuy

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Maybe not, but they are metal blades with moulded plastic handles. Firstly I doubt anyone is going to seperate the 2 material componintes for recycling, and secondly...I will have had 8 pairs thrown away by the end of this week just on them having to cut the silvered gauze to pack my wound. I fear many more pairs will be thrown away in total. I thought trying to be enviromental was not just cost, but resources too. Perhaps not.
What is the environment impact of reusing them compared to disposable scissors?

Or the risk of infection for either way?

It’s not always black and white
 

PJ87

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What is the environment impact of reusing them compared to disposable scissors?

Or the risk of infection for either way?

It’s not always black and white

Sterilising them will carry on impact on the environment for sure , I'm sure the numbers have been run
 
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