Assessment of environmental and economic sustainability of peri-operative patient warming strategies in hospitals
Hospitals use different warming techniques for surgery patients to prevent them from hypothermia, i.e., becoming cold during their operation. Many warming techniques are commonly available and used but studies on their holistic environmental impacts are lacking. The overall environmental impacts and economic costs of products or services can be assessed using life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle cost analysis (LCCA), respectively. This research aims to evaluate the environmental and economic performance of current practices of patient warming and temperature monitoring in Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) and University of British Columbia Hospital (UBCH). At first, common patient warming techniques and temperature monitoring devices will be identified from the literature. Then, LCA and LCCA will be conducted for warming techniques and thermometers commonly used and that are currently used in the two hospitals. Based on the research findings, sustainable techniques of patient-warming and temperature monitoring will be proposed for VGH, UBCH, and other hospitals.