The clinicians cutting carbon and catheter costs

The Cardiology Department has launched a new sustainability initiative aimed at reducing clinical waste by remanufacturing single-use medical devices for reuse, which in turn reduces CO2 emissions and saves costs.

Richard TilWe’ve partnered with Vanguard Medical Remanufacturing, a company that collects used medical devices and remanufactures them to quality-assured standards in line with Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) guidelines.

These devices are cheaper to procure and generate 50% less CO2 emissions. Within the last year, over 28 kgs of devices have been saved from landfill.

Cardiology Consultants Richard Till (pictured) and Daniel Raine and Gareth Tucker, Chief Cardiac Physiologist, have worked together to introduce this new process within the department’s Electrophysiology (EP) labs to reduce the overall CO2 footprint, excess waste and expenditures.

Thanks to their efforts the department has saved over £57,000 in the last financial year.

Cardiology EP labs perform ablation procedures on patients’ hearts to treat abnormal heart rhythms such as atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia. Electrodes mounted onto catheters are used as part of these procedures, and it is these devices that are being remanufactured.

“The devices play a crucial part in cardiac ablation procedures as they are used for creating a 3D map of the heart during surgery,” said Richard.

“After using the remanufactured devices for a while, we understood that our concerns about them not meeting our requirements were completely unfounded.”

Remanufacturing medical devices offers significant potential to reduce the number of single-use devices used across the NHS.

There is substantial remanufacturing potential for sites undertaking electrophysiology procedures, those performing laparoscopies and others that use energy-powered products.

“Clinical colleagues have been pushed towards single-use as the standard, and that mindset needed to change” said James Anderson, Head of Category Management.

“One of the main challenges of the project was clinical engagement, as any change to an established process can be seen as introducing risk to the patient outcome, so it takes a conversation or two to persuade colleagues that there is another way and that it is safe.

“A challenge frequently faced with many green initiatives is that often it is hard to get the relevant people in the room and have a full discussion on risks and benefits, given the limited amount of time many clinicians have.”

As a result of this successful innovation in Cardiology, other departments are currently trialling to use similarly remanufactured devices.

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