Eliminating the squandering of medical supplies and equipment can save on new purchases as well as incineration and landfill fees. Some institutions have turned to interventions like reducing their use of materials, recycling what they do use, and donating leftover but still usable items to developing nations.
In a commentary published in March in Academic Medicine, Martin A. Makary, a gastrointestinal surgeon, and colleagues at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine called for more medical centers to “go green” by recycling disposable single-use medical devices. Several reprocessing companies take certain disposables — like orthopedic drill bits and heart-monitoring catheters — and clean, recalibrate, repackage and resterilize them, then sell them back to hospitals and medical suppliers for 40 percent to 60 percent of the price of new ones.
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