Cost/benefit study of reusable and disposable OR draping materials

J Healthc Mater Manage. 1993 Apr;11(3):44-8.


A large metropolitan teaching hospital in Canada wanted to know if it should continue to use disposable drapes or return to reusables. In order to determine which choice would be more cost-effective, which would be more environmentally friendly and which would best meet the surgical team's needs while meeting infection control guidelines and other pertinent standards a study was conducted of the then present draping practices and costs. The study was done on the operating room, including inpatient and same day surgery drape usage. It included drape types, patterns of usage, volume of usage and draping practices. An analysis was made based on the actual costs and number of cases for 1990 and the estimated needs for the next year. Drape expenses included handling, storage, removal from user areas and disposal. The study resulted in the conclusion that, at that time, reusable surgical drapes were a viable alternative from an environmental perspective, but based on the information available, they were not considered to be financially competitive.

MeSH terms

  • Bedding and Linens / economics*
  • Canada
  • Conservation of Natural Resources
  • Costs and Cost Analysis / statistics & numerical data*
  • Disposable Equipment / economics*
  • Hospital Bed Capacity, 500 and over
  • Hospitals, Teaching / economics
  • Operating Rooms / economics*