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Primum non nocere

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Urology: the environmental impacts.

Disciplines / Surgery

As part of the global effort to decarbonize healthcare, we must reduce the environmental impacts of urological care.

In 2021, the global urology device market reached a value of $32 billion and is expected to experience substantial growth in the coming decade. In the United States alone, the use of single-use catheters leads to the generation of a staggering 85 million pounds of waste annually. To put this into perspective, if these catheters were placed end to end, they could circle the globe 5.5 times.

The life cycle of devices used in operating rooms, including production, packaging, transportation, disposal, and sterilization for reusable devices, presents various opportunities to minimize their carbon footprint. It is crucial to establish industry-wide sustainability standards for these products and collaborate with suppliers to reduce their environmental impact. By making these changes in practice, alongside hospital-based efforts, we can significantly contribute to creating a healthier planet and, consequently, healthier patients.

Interested in learning more about the environmental impacts of urology? Our database contains environmental impact estimates for a range of urological devices (e.g. cystoscopes and ureteroscopes) and procedures (e.g. prostatectomy and prostate biopsy).

Below we present a gallery view of all urology-related data sources currently included within our database. Scroll through and expand tiles to learn more about each data source, including its scope and methods.

If you want to explore environmental impact estimates for available urological products and procedures, scroll down further to explore the database itself, again filtered to only show urology-related studies.

— "Every year, 85 million pounds of waste is generated in the USA from single-use catheters alone. Placed end to end, these catheters could circumscribe the world 5.5 times and fill 80 Olympic-sized swimming pools ... Urologists should consider the 'triple bottom line' (financial, environmental, and patient impacts) of our common clinical practices."

Kornberg et al., 2023

HealthcareLCA Gallery | Filtered: Discipline > Urology

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Suggested citation: Drew J & Rizan C. (2022). HealthcareLCA Database [Online Database]. HealthcareLCA. Retrieved from:

HealthcareLCA Database | Filtered: Discipline > Urology