Checklist developed using data from GreenSurg Collaborative led survey could help surgical teams in low- and middle-income countries to prepare for issues relating to global warming.

The “Operating Theatre Heatwaves Checklist” has been developed by researchers to summarise four key points that should be taken into account by clinical operation based teams when looking at the development of strategies to reduce any issues arising from prolonged periods of abnormally hot weather. The team were able to analyse data from 20 specialities across 140 UK hospitals that operated during the UK heatwave of July 2022.

From the data that was analysed during the study, the checklist asks the following questions which should be taken into account when looking to reduce the impact from prolonged periods of excessive heat:

  1. Do you have an operating theatre heatwave plan?
  2. Can your operating theatres function during heatwaves?
  3. Do you have a plan in the case of staff shortages?
  4. Is there a heatwave-related surge in emergency admissions – can surgical activity be maintained?

Members of the research team were able to present the checklist at the Faculty of Public Health Climate and Health Conference, taking place on the 21st June with a focus on the subject of “Adapting to a warming world from the UK perspective”, attended by a multitude of of professionals from the food systems, built environment and healthcare international industries.

The United Nations defines Climate Change as long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns that have been primarily driven by human activities, particularly since the 1800s. As climate change intensifies, the ramifications of raising temperatures (one of the effects of elevated greenhouse gas emissions derived from the burning of fossil fuels) will have a direct impact on us all, with the global healthcare sector being particularly prone to issues arising from increasing global temperatures.

You can view the full checklist by clicking here.

You can also view the original GreenSurg publication Elective surgical services need to start planning for summer pressures, published in April 2023 by clicking here.