This Swedish life cycle assessment by Hemberg et al. (2023) compares single-use and reusable central venous catheter insertion kits, including metal, plastic and textiles items. In contrast to a 2012 Australian LCA of CVC insertion kits by McGain et al., this new study showed that reusable kits had a lower environmental footprint and financial cost than single-use. Differences between the studies included: energy sources (renewable vs coal), energy consumption and inclusion of sterile textiles.
"A major finding in our study was that the change from single-use to reusable textiles during CVC insertions dramatically reduced the environmental impact on resource use and climate change. The production of sterile single-use textiles represents 65–85% of the total impact on resource use and climate change for the kits using single-use textiles (supplementary Fig. S4). This result highlights an area which could be targeted to reduce the environmental impact of not only CVC insertions, but also of other procedures requiring sterile textiles.
We conclude that the use of CVC-insertion kits containing reusable metal instruments and reusable textiles offer a robust opportunity to reduce the environmental impacts and financial costs of CVC insertions in a European setting, compared to the use of kits containing solely single-use items."
Hemberg, L., Wessberg, N., Leire, C. et al. Environmental impact of single-use and reusable items in central venous catheter insertion kits: a life cycle assessment. Intensive Care Med (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00134-023-07078-9
McGain F, McAlister S, McGavin A, Story D (2012) A life cycle assessment of reusable and single-use central venous catheter insertion kits. Anesth Analg 114:1073–1080. https://doi.org/10.1213/ANE.0b013e31824e9b69