Medical devices play a critical role in the delivery of care, and are used in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of clinical morbidities in hospitals. They may, however, contain hazardous substances like DEHP and BPA, which, when leached, cause a slew of side effects in those who are exposed. Individuals with weakened or underdeveloped immune systems are more likely to experience severe side effects and die as a result of them.
Interventions developed to protect patients from harmful exposures are nascent in some countries, and negligible in others. Manufacturers continue to add chemical additives to medical equipments as they confer material-strengthening properties to the devices. Stricter regulations to remove or impose maximum permissible limits on the concentration of toxic chemicals allowed in medical devices, as well as a concerted, multi-sectoral approach by pharmaceutical corporations and hospitals are necessary to reduce the number of avoidable harms caused by the leaching of toxic medical devices.
Therefore, the CleanMed Europe Organisation, a leading sustainable healthcare conference in Europe, is holding a virtual event which will be having more than 27 sessions that will be delivered by more than 60 experts. One of these sessions is on the topic “Toxic - free healthcare”).
In this session, we will hear and learn ways to reduce the use of hazardous chemicals in medical devices. To start with, the speakers will give examples of exposure to hazardous chemicals in the neonatal intensive care unit and their effects on health. Then, we will explore how procurement can reduce the hazardous chemicals in medical devices.
This session will be delivered by
- Mr. Lucas Panneel who is a medical doctor and pediatrics resident at Antwerp University Hospital, Belgium.
Ms. Trude Ertresvåg who is the Environmental Manager at the Norwegian Hospital Procurement Trust.
- Ms. Mellissa Nguyen who is the leader of Vizient’s Environmentally Preferred Sourcing Program.
- Kevin Lewis who is a Consulting Director for Vizient Supply Chain Services.
Toxic healthcare is a public health concern that has received little attention and research, even though this topic is worth discussing because it touches on three SDG tenets: ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for people of all ages, ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns, and revitalising global partnerships for sustainable development. Hence, IPSF encourages searching more on this issue and gain insights about toxic-free healthcare from joining the session, and use them to formulate campaigns in the future.