Taking the critical care unit from a carbon hotspot to carbon neutral

A new framework that proposes more efficient resource use in hospital critical care settings to reduce the environmental impact of healthcare is currently being rolled out at Western Health.

A critical care clinician in the critical care unit wearing a reusable gown. Around him are various pieces of medical equipment. Reusable gowns that have been rolled out to clinicians at Western Health.

Co-developed by Associate Professor Forbes McGain OAM alongside colleagues from the United Kingdom and New Zealand, the framework aims to prevent waste and greenhouse gas emissions associated with unnecessary patient admissions, ineffective tests and therapies, and single-use equipment.

The healthcare sector is responsible for between four and five percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. While the framework is still in its early stages of implementation, it has already led to the adoption of reusable hospital gowns and pads across most of the hospital, preventing disposable equipment from entering landfill.

As more hospitals and critical care units adopt the framework, it will reduce the carbon emissions and pollution from the healthcare sector.

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