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An NHS hospital trust performed its first ever 'net zero' operation today — in what is believed to be a world-first.

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust reduced its carbon footprint to almost nothing during a cancer operation at Solihull Hospital.

Doctors achieved this by using recycled equipment, cycling to work and using LED lighting which emit less greenhouse gas.

They also used injectable liquid anaesthetic to keep the patient asleep, rather than gas.

Carbon emissions dropped by 80 per cent compared to a normal bowel cancer operation, with the rest offset by planting trees.

The project was conducted as a way of showing how green policies can be carried out across the rest of the health service.

The NHS as a whole accounts for 6 per cent of Britain's total carbon footprint.

Operating theatres make up a quarter of all hospital emissions, despite only 5 per cent of patients requiring surgery.

Consultant surgeon Dr Aneel Bhangu said: 'Operating theatres are resource intensive environments, contributing to 25 per cent of the Trust's carbon output.

'We cannot achieve net zero health systems without making surgery more green, so this is a vital proof of concept step.'

'Important' measures to make healthcare more environmentally friendly require 'changes in behaviour', he said.

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Source: Mail Online

Date: 26 May

Posted in News on May 26, 2022

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