Comparison of Reusable and Disposable Laparatomy Pads

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Laparotomy pads made of cotton are used in operative medicine as a tamponade, and as a means of preventing organ injury. In our study, the environmental impact and hygienic aspects of reusable and disposable laparotomy pads (also made of cotton) were investigated. The study is no complete LCA, but rather a life cycle inventory (LCI). Reusable laparotomy pads are superior as far as energy consumption, water and production of waste are concerned. Disposable laparotomy pads have a larger impact on the environment, causing a greater consumption of resources. The environmental impact caused by their production is much greater than the environmental impact of cleansing the reusable laparotomy pads. On the one hand, growing cotton and producing laparotomy pads requires much more water than the cleansing procedure for reusable pads. On the other hand, washing reusable laparotomy pads and bleaching with sodium hypochlorite results in the formation of adsorbable organic halogen compounds (AOX). Reprocessing laparotomy pads made of cotton meets the hygienic standards when the requirements for the special cleaning procedures are fulfilled. Laparatomy pads, life cycle inventory; LCI, laparatomy pads; reusable laparatomy pads; disposable laparatomy pads; hygienic aspects, laparatomy pads; energy consumption, laparatomy pads; environmental impact, laparatomy pads; laparatomy pads, adsorbable organic halogen compounds (AOX); cotton, laparatomy pads; LCA, case studies; case studies, LCA.

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)67-73
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 01.06.1996
Externally publishedYes