Green Surgery Report: Operating Theatre Energy and Design
Read Section 4 of the Green Surgery Report
Operating theatres are 3-6 times more energy intensive than clinical wards.
The majority of theatre energy consumption relates to theatre maintenance (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning).
There are three main types of ventilation systems: turbulent mixed airflow (least energy), temperature controlled airflow, laminar air flow (most energy).
Shutdown checklists can be used to prompt staff to switch off theatre equipment out of hours and should be accompanied by turn-on checklists and safety protocols to ensure items are on when required.
There are opportunities at the stage of theatre design (or retrofit) for installation of motion sensors to control lights, temperature, and ventilation, alongside energy efficient appliances and machinery, and automatic/pedal-controlled taps for surgical scrub.
At the hospital level, contracts should be drawn with providers of renewable electricity, and installation of combined heat and power facilities.
There are opportunities across the hospital for installing LED lighting and improving insulation.
(1) Ensure operating theatre equipment is switched off when not in use (e.g. Anaesthetic Gas Scavenging Systems, air handling units, lights, computers, other plug-ins)
(2) Improve environmental impact of operating theatre energy consumption
Elective theatres shutdown list
Improving laminar flow efficiency
Operating theatres shutdown list
*** Note: Outcomes data from case studies have not been verified and some financial and greenhouse gas emission figures are based on projections.