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LCA of reprocessed medical devices

Life cycle assessment of reprocessing intermittent pneumatic compression devices

Healthcare has a large environmental footprint. Reprocessing of medical devices is a well-established, regulated process, and can reduce its environmental impact. This LCA compares the environmental footprint of a single-use and a reprocessed version of otherwise identical IPC sleeves.

The functional unit is five hospital treatments applying IPC. The environmental footprint of reprocessed items was found to be reduced in all impact categories compared to single-use devices, leading to a weighted normalized reduction of 43% across all categories. In a breakdown of the life cycle assessment results, reprocessed IPC sleeves were found to reduce the carbon footprint by 40 %, with the treatment of five patients with single-use IPC sleeves creating 7 kg CO2eq, compared to 4.2 kg CO2eq from reprocessed sleeves. Waste disposal costs were also reduced by 90 %. The conclusions is, that reprocessing of IPC sleeves provides an environmental and economical benefit in comparison to single-use devices.

Pulswerk (together with coreva scientific and ecofides) is responsible for the set up, the data inventory, the assessment and the interpretation. Besides the report a scientific paper was published.

This project is a cooperation of pulswerk and ecofides GmbH.


2021 – 2023


Markus Meissner


Markus Meissner

im Auftrag von

Corvea Scientific GmbH

Cardinal Health/Sustainable Technologies


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