Hip and knee operations ‘should be done under local anesthetic to help cut carbon emissions’
Switching 1 million hip and knee operations to local anaesthetic would save the equivalent of 7.3 million miles driven in a car
Sure, OK, we can see the benefit, reduced emissions. But what’s the cost?
For example, 7.3 million miles, average car does 11,600, average annual emissions from average car 4.6 tonnes, each tonne CO2 cost of $80 as per Stern, that’s a net emissions benefit of $232,000 a year.
Cool, what’s the cost? Each life is statistically worth $2 million – say, there’s a range of values – so does our use of local not general increase the chance of a death by one tenth of a death over all those treated? Actually, gien that general is itself dangerous it probably reduces but still, this is the sort of calculation we should be doing.
Sure, there’s a benefit to this as with anything else. But we also need to know the cost.