Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly 23(4) January 2021 : 39-45.doi:10.12927/hcq.2020.26394
Environmentally Sustainable Healthcare

Environmental Sustainability in Canadian Critical Care: A Nationwide Survey Study on Medical Waste Management

Alec Yu and Iman Baharmand


Background: To date, the literature surrounding healthcare sustainability has focused largely on operating rooms, energy efficiency and biohazardous waste management. Few studies have looked at the sustainability within intensive care units (ICUs).

Objective: Our study sought to capture the array of sustainability initiatives undertaken by Canadian ICUs and gain a better understanding of current practices with regard to the management of single-use equipment waste.

Methods: We conducted a nationwide e-mail survey through the Canadian Critical Care Network.

Results: We received responses from a total of 81 hospital sites representing all 10 Canadian provinces and approximately 28.3% of all Canadian ICUs. The vast majority of responses came from ICU managers or nursing leadership. Our study identified variable waste management practices across the country and showcased successful initiatives undertaken by Canadian ICUs toward increased environmental sustainability.



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