July 09, 2021

Greening the operating room

By Lisa Bellidoro, Global Marketing Manager — Breathing and Cell Therapy, Cytiva

Interested in saving money, space, and reducing medical waste?

Did you know… A single Pall Ultipor™ Anesthesia Breathing Circuit System can be used for all procedures performed within a 24-hour period, as long as each new patient is provided with a fresh patient kit including an Ultipor™ 25 Filter. The advantages of using the same circuit for multiple patients are clear:

  • Reduce the number of circuits used daily, saving money
  • Less medical waste is generated, decreasing disposal costs
  • Decrease operating room turnover time between procedures, saving time
  • Patients are protected from machine contamination
  • Machines are protected from patient contamination
  • Reduce associated waste such as packaging and boxes

Meet your green initiative

Moving from single-use, disposable items to multi-use items is an effective waste-reduction strategy in the operating room, and also reduces upstream environmental impacts because fewer natural resources need to be extracted, shipped, manufactured, produced, and distributed (1).

Is it safe for circuits to be used between patients?

It’s safe for anesthesia circuits to be used for multiple patients according to the circuit labeling, when employing a Heat and Moisture Exchange Filter (HMEF) with an efficiency of >99.999%.

If a hospital chooses to use its circuits for multiple patients, in the interests of cost savings and the environment, it’s extremely important to be certain that the HMEFs have been properly validated against organisms, resistance, and fluid penetration and that the circuit is labeled specifically to permit use for multiple patients. If a hospital chooses to go “off label,” by using a circuit that is labeled “Single Patient Use,” effective filtration may not be assured, and risks of cross contamination and infection may exist. Therefore, it is important that products be selected which are intended for and support multiple patient use (2).

Savings example

Here is an example: Let’s say you have 25 operating rooms (OR), and on average you got through 5 cases per OR per day. That’s 125 cases per day.

The average price of a single use breathing circuit is $3, and we assume a multi-use is 2x the price — $6.

In this scenario, you save $82,125 annually — that’s 60% savings!


  • Number of single-use circuits per year = 25 (OR) x 5 (cases) x 365 (days) = 45,625 circuits per year
  • Number of multi-use circuits per year = 25 (OR) x 1 (multi-use) x 365 (days) = 9,125 multi-use circuits per year
    • (single use circuits per year (45,625) x ($3)) – (multi use circuits per year (9,125 – $6)) =
    • single use cost ($136,875) – multi-use cost ($54,750) = $82,125 savings per year
    • difference ($82,125/$136,875) = 60%

Explore our solutions.

  1. Green Practice. Reuse Materials and Equipment. [Online]. https://practicegreenhealth.org/topics/greening-operating-room/reuse-materials-and-equipment. [Accessed: 2021 Jun 7].
  2. James MM. Products Should Be Chosen That Support Multiple Patient Use. [Online]. https://www.apsf.org/article/reusable-anesthesia-breathing-circuits-considered/. [Accessed: 2021 May 31].

Author bio

Lisa Bellidoro, Global Marketing Manager — Breathing and Cell Therapy









Lisa is part of our marketing team covering both the breathing and cell therapy industries. With extensive expertise in marketing communications, she brings insightful current industry trends.