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Ophthalmology

Single-use topical antiseptics during surgeries lead to financial losses

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The utilization of single-use topical antiseptics, specifically 5% povidone-iodine (PVI) solution, in medical settings like ophthalmology theatres, has significant environmental and financial implications, according to a study.

The study highlighted that such antiseptic products generate substantial waste, both in terms of packaging and unused pharmaceutical content. The research revealed that a considerable portion of this waste is preventable and that a significant amount of unused antiseptic is discarded, leading to substantial financial losses.

However, the study also showed a positive aspect: all of the discarded PVI was successfully repurposed and redirected to a local wildlife rescue organization, demonstrating the potential for sustainable waste management practices in the medical field.

The authors emphasized the need for greater attention to the environmental impact and financial inefficiencies associated with single-use medical products, prompting a call for further research into recycling solutions and more effective waste management strategies in healthcare settings.

Reference
Lam L, Dedina L, Bacchi S, et al. Focus on reuse: reducing waste associated with topical pre-operative antiseptics. J Cataract Refract Surg. 2023;doi: 10.1097/j.jcrs.0000000000001281. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37565410.

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