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EP Recycling Makes Sense

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EP Recycling Makes Sense

Researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine recently published a study that outlines the waste that hospitals go through each year.   Many instruments that are used only once are routinely thrown out although they actually can be either reused or they can be collected by recycling collection companies such as Elite Cardiology Group.  These devices would be perfectly safe if sterilized properly by third party reprocessors or collected by collection companies.   This would certainly reduce the high costs associated with Canadian and American health care each year.  By not only cutting down on the massive amount of waste that is sent to landfills every year, hospitals would also earn rebates for certain devices.  Second to the food industry, hospitals are massive waste producers, according to Dr. Martin Makary of John Hopkins.

Dr Makary states that there are numerous ways for hospitals to be less wasteful; to save money, to earn rebates and to reuse medical devices.  However still many medical devices that would be safe to resterilize, reuse or collect are been thrown out.

He says hospital often throw out expensive ultrasound catheters, catheters, cutting devices, hospital gowns and towels which can be collected, sterilized, reused, recalibrated and so on.   Worse than that,  some items are thrown out without ever being used once.   This happens quite often if an item is expired or has been taken out of its original packaging.   In these cases, the hospital is concerned that device is contaminated because it is exposed to the air or sterility is not guaranteed past the expiry date.   However, Dr. Makary concludes that items such as compression sleeves, electrophysiology devices, drills, ultrasound catheters, ablation catheters and pulse sensors can be sent to collection companies or medical reprocessing companies.   These devices can be sterilized and returned to the hospital to use instead of thrown out.


EP Platinum Ablation Catheters

According to the American Government Accountability Office (GAO), recycled medical devices are not riskier than new devices.   It’s unfortunate that despite recycled devices only cost half the price of new medical devices only a quarter of US hospitals actually use them.

There are reports that certain health care facilities located in Phoenix, Arizona saved over 1.5 million dollars per year by reusing recyclable medical devices, sending devices to collection companies and reusing emergency room supplies.

Makary states that the challenge is not to make the medical equipment and devices safe.   The reach shows that they are.   The challenge is to convince the Canadian and American public that they are.

In 2006 Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal became the first Canadian hospital to “go green.”

The categories for commitment are: energy and atmosphere, water efficiency, indoor environmental quality, materials and resources, and innovation  &  design process.

In 2007, The Royal Victoria Hospital became a Sustainable Development Partner.

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