Survey targets open but unused devices

Read alerts: Send supplies to third-world countries

The American Hospital Association (AHA) has conducted a survey of open but unused single-use devices (SUDs) and has concluded that there’s no need for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to regulate the handling of such devices. The AHA survey of 675 hospitals found that three-quarter of hospitals discard open but unused single-use devices (SUDs). Most of the hospitals that resterilize the devices use third-party reprocessors.

None of the hospitals in the survey that resterilized the items themselves had any adverse patient outcomes associated with later use of the goods, according to the AHA. The letter sent to the FDA also was signed by the Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology and the Federation of American Hospitals.

Where to send open but unused supplies

Recovered Medical Equipment for the Developing World (REMEDY), a New Haven, CT-based nonprofit organization that distributes open and unused medical supplies and equipment to third-world countries, now has a web site that includes e-mail alerts about urgent needs.

AIRE-mail links donors and recipients by posting notices of urgent needs and available donations. Supplies and equipment offered through AIRE-mail have ranged from disposable, non-durable materials, such as unused disposable latex gloves, to larger durable equipment and machines, such as autoclaves and anesthesia machines. Donations also have included full diagnostic units, such as an ultrasound machine and a full mammography unit.

(Editor’s note: To receive the notices, go to Under "Quick Links," click on "AIRE-mail.")