Section 8.6 of the new BTS/SIGN Guideline for the management of asthma highlights the environmental impact of metered dose inhalers (pMDI) and recommends that inhalers with low global-warming potential (GWP) should be used when likely to be equally effective.
Are you confident in teaching patients how to use their inhalers? The first step in improving environmental sustainability of inhaler use is to ensure that people use the correct technique to get the drug to where it is needed.
The Royal College of Physicians published a new report 'Outpatients: the future – adding value through sustainability' which seeks to re-evaluate the purpose of outpatient care and align those objectives with modern-day living and expectations.
This is the most recent carbon/natural resources footprint of health and social care in England, based on 2017 data. Of note, the greenhouse gas emissions from metered dose inhalers are estimated at 0.85 Mt CO2e, which is around 3.2% of total emissions for the sector.
Sustainable Development Unit, NHS England & Public Health England
This example driver diagram shows how principles of sustainable clinical practice can be applied to improve respiratory inhaler prescribing. Hopefully it shows a holistic approach (MDI>DPI is not the whole story...).
Short animation to raise awareness of the NHS contribution to environmental issues such as climate change and air pollution, and encourage health professionals to look for environmentally friendly ways to practise.
The University of Westminster has published an excellent explanatory document on social prescription. It's a fantastic end to end resource with explanations of terminology, structures, different types of social prescription, and referral examples.
Table of Actions for a Sustainable Respiratory Inhalers Programme - first created in consultation with Sustainable Respiratory Care Advisory Group in February 2013. This table can be updated as actions are completed or proposed.
The continued use of metered-dose inhalers in respiratory care will have a potentially catastrophic effect on global warming if production is not controlled, largely because these inhalers use potent green-house gas hydroflourocarbons (HFCs) as propellants.