Newsweek and the Daily Beast recently report on Why Green Hospital Practices Could Make You Sick, but are sure to note that the lawful, FDA-regulated reprocessing businesses have not been associated with recent outbreaks:
Recycling by resterilization has a longstanding precedent in health care, and none of the outbreaks reported thus far has been related to properly recycled medical equipment. High-ticket items like bronchoscopes and endoscopes that cost far too much to toss out after every use are reprocessed through carefully prescribed, heavily regulated steps. Building on this approach, current medical-waste recyclers are looking to put other invasive equipment—not needles or syringes, but certain types of surgical tools—back into circulation after a good scrubbing. Plus, by picking cheaper equipment to rework—stuff that can be disassembled, sterilized, and reassembled or else tossed away if too messy—they can throw it out if they can’t get it right. That way, they are less likely to stumble over a problem faced by U.S. Veterans Affairs hospitals that recently were investigated because of possible spread of HIV and hepatitis related to improperly cleaned endoscopes….
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