In Dutch hospitals, over one million kilos of blue ‘wrapping paper’ is used every year to maintain medical devices sterile. After they’ve been used, they create an unlimited mountain of waste. TU Delft researchers Tim Horeman and Bart van Straten, in collaboration with the Maasstad Hospital in Rotterdam amongst others, devised a way to soften down this blue polypropylene wrapping paper and switch it into a brand new medical system. A rising variety of Dutch hospitals are adopting this method. An article concerning the technique was revealed within the Journal for Cleaner Production.
Waste results in new reusable and steerable medical devices
Horeman and Van Straten labored with waste administration firm Renewi to gather the blue wrapping paper from working rooms at a number of hospitals. They then carried out analysis into the connection between the material properties, the consequences of heating at varied temperatures and the processed waste. This led to the event of what are known as instrument openers: instruments to maintain medical devices that include a hinge open through the cleansing course of. In addition, the researchers designed handles for a brand new line of reusable and steerable devices for superior keyhole surgical procedure.
Hospital care contributes 7 p.c to the total CO2 emissions within the Netherlands. The quickly rising mountain of waste produced by hospitals shouldn’t be solely brought on by a rising affected person inhabitants but in addition by the elevated use of disposable merchandise. Melting down medical waste into a brand new uncooked materials is among the methods we are able to deal with the worldwide hospital waste downside.
Horeman explains that “with this method, our research team has created a circular chain that fully coordinates the technical, medical and logistical processes. This is the only way to process waste into high-quality new medical instruments, for example, without having to use additives. And this is just the beginning as far as we are concerned.”
B. van Straten et al, Surgical waste reprocessing: Injection molding utilizing recycled blue wrapping paper from the working room, Journal of Cleaner Production (2021). DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2021.129121
Delft University of Technology
Making surgical devices from medical waste (2021, October 7)
retrieved 7 October 2021
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