Cost containment in the operating room: use of reusable versus disposable clothing

Am Surg. 1992 Oct;58(10):654-6.


The need for fiscal austerity has prompted the re-evaluation of many aspects of medical care. Recent events in the northeastern United States have caused an increased awareness of the need for environmental responsibility as well. With these considerations in mind, the costs incurred by the operating suites of two comparable teaching hospitals in New Jersey, one of which uses disposable operating room attire, were examined; the other employs reusable scrub suits and gowns. The reusable scrub suits and gowns resulted in a savings in excess of $100,000 compared to the center using disposables. The authors conclude that hospitals should re-evaluate their use of disposable operating room attire to reduce operating costs and the amount of medical waste generated.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Cost Savings / statistics & numerical data*
  • Disposable Equipment / economics*
  • Hospital Bed Capacity, 300 to 499
  • Hospitals, Teaching / economics
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Medical Waste / economics*
  • New Jersey / epidemiology
  • Operating Rooms / economics*
  • Operating Rooms / statistics & numerical data
  • Protective Clothing / economics*
  • Surgical Wound Infection / epidemiology


  • Medical Waste