MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Cassandra Thiel, PhD
Assistant Professor in the Departments of Population Health and Opthamology at NYU Langone Health, and Assistant Professor at NYU Wagner and
NYU Tandon School of Engineering
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Everyone is concerned about the health impacts of climate change, from the United Nations to the Lancet. While other industries are trying to monitor and minimize their environmental footprint, healthcare services have been largely overlooked. Yet, the US healthcare sector emits 10% of the US’s total greenhouse gases.
Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed procedures in the world. In the US, these surgeries generate large quantities of waste due to the use of single-use, disposable materials and supplies. However, at Aravind Eye Care System in southern India, the outcomes for this procedure are the same as in the US, but the materials they use are mostly reusable. This study assessed the environmental footprint of Aravind’s surgical process, to determine how their process design and material selection affected their emissions.