Climate Change

Climate change is real because we already see its effects around us in extreme weather events like hurricanes and drought, rising temperatures in oceans, melting glaciers and ice caps, disappearing species, and rising sea levels.

The threats posed by climate change are going to affect not just our planet and the environment, but also the economy. We’re likely to see more frequent or intense natural disasters.

Some businesses could lose millions of dollars due to damage caused by flooding or earthquakes. And there are other ways that climate change affects us directly. For example, heat waves cause many deaths each year because elderly people lack access to air conditioning and other resources that protect them from the harmful environment.

Healthcare Industry

Although our health care system purports to offer a solution to our environmental problem, it creates many problems and wastes an enormous amount of natural resources in the process.

According to the EPA, America generates about 2.4 million tons of hospital waste each year, and another 5.8 million tons of medical office waste annually. This amounts to roughly 1/10th of all U.S. garbage production per year.

These numbers increase as millions of Americans enter the healthcare system every year. Our current healthcare system requires more natural resources than any other nation in the world.

Moreover, healthcare wastes account for almost 10% of our landfills’ solid waste. Surgeons and other healthcare providers need to start thinking about ways they can stop this problematic waste management before it starts to affect the health of everyone. There are many different options to consider. 

One option could be to separate medical waste at its source and then send it to an incinerator. Another solution is to reduce waste through reuse, recycling, composting, and reclamation. These are just some of the several practices and approaches that doctors, nurses, and other health professionals can do.

Waste prevention programs and awareness seminars offer tips on how to prevent waste and help healthcare providers get started right away. Everyone should understand their role in fighting climate change and protecting the environment.

Learning about various practices that will promote sustainability can be a great start in hospitals and other health facilities all around the world. 

In line with this, operating theatres are a significant contributor to carbon dioxide emissions. Reducing the amount of carbon dioxide emitted per unit of time will result in lower overall carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

Avoiding the usage of desflurane could reduce emissions by about 1 million metric tons per year. Occupancy-based ventilation reduces emissions, but there is a concern for increased risk of infection transmission due to the reduced level of personal protective equipment.

Indeed, climate change presents one of the single biggest public health challenges of our time. At least half of human deaths today could be avoided if we acted quickly to halt climate change. 

But while the health impacts of climate change are currently invisible, they’re going to become increasingly visible as temperatures rise. As temperatures rise, extreme weather events that kill thousands of people each year are likely to increase.

These disasters will present a huge burden on healthcare systems across the globe, making health issues like malaria, waterborne diseases, malnutrition, heat stress, and mental illness even worse.

A warming planet and disrupted rainfall patterns will mean increased outbreaks of mosquito-borne illnesses like Zika virus and dengue fever. And as temperatures rise, so too will the number of heat waves and hurricanes, increasing the risk of injury, heart attack, and stroke.

Hence, it is time to understand the role of each individual on the planet to fight climate change.