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In response to a growing trend in the healthcare industry to reduce waste and establish environmentally responsible healthcare, Medline Industries, Inc. today introduced the industry's first biodegradable surgical drape made almost entirely from renewable sources. Following more than two years in development, the "EcoDrape™" is 96 percent biodegradable and meets the Association for Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) level 4 protection standards in the critical areas.
"We believe that being 'green' is a critical part of being successful," said Frank Czajka, president of Medline's Disposable Surgical Gown and Drape Division. "It's a commitment to our business, our customers and the future of the planet. It is important that facilities that have embraced "green" initiatives and made the commitment to reduce their impact on the environment have a choice in products that can help them meet their sustainability goals."
The EcoDrape is made almost entirely from natural fibers -- without dyes, chemical binders or fluorochemicals. The EcoDrape will also biodegrade in five months in landfill conditions.
According to HCWH (Health Care Without Harm), a single medical center produces an average of six tons of waste everyday. The Association for Operating Room Nurses (AORN) says a large portion of the waste is generated from the operating room. According to AORN, "The volume of waste generated through energy and water consumption...significantly affects the environment and the global economy."
Surgical drapes are used to cover the patient during a surgical procedure (but leaving the incision area exposed) to reduce the risk of infection. The EcoDrape is offered in a number of sizes and surgical packs for use in a variety of minor surgical procedures, including laparotomy, eye procedures and central line.
The EcoDrape joins Medline's portfolio of more than 500 environmentally friendly products that are recyclable, utilize recycled materials, are biodegradable or made from renewable sources, require fewer chemicals when used, use soy-based ingredients instead of petro-chemicals, reduce or eliminate the use of dyes or bleaches, and reduce the amount of energy required to launder.