How to donate medical supplies? - page 2

by Laught3r

28,598 Views | 30 Comments

I work in a small hospital and we are getting ready for JCHAO. This last week all over the hospital we have been pulling expired materials from our shelves and just dumping it into the trash. :flamesonb I wish I could find a... Read More


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    Apparently most people are unaware of what the term "expired" actually means. Medications have a maximum expiration dating of 5 years from date of manufacture as set by federal law. The manufacturer is free to set whatever date they wish short of that, or short of the demonstrated actual life expectancy within the allowable potency range (in the US that is 90 - 105%). The military has done extensive, multi-year studies concerning actual vs. labeled shelf life and found that, while there are meds that will not make it to the labeled date (always sub-batches, while other batches of the same meds had their life extended by the FDA), others had their life extended again and again following testing of samp batches from the various lots. In the case of atropine they finally stopped testing when the medication was 18 years older than the original labeled expiration, and it still tested as falling within the efficacy requirements.

    Non-medications also have the maximum 5 year stated shelf life rule applied. Can anyone tell me what happens to a sealed IV catheter that it is no longer usable after 5 years? Terumo dates theirs at around 1-1/2 - 2 years though they are sealed in hard plastic sheaths. In that case it's called planned obsolesence, i.e. faster turnover.

    Massive quantities of "expired" supplies are donated or sold to 3rd world countries for use every year. There are a number of companies that sell Conex boxes full weekly of expired or discontinued items.

    Medications are likewise sold overseas with a minimum 6 month shelf life labeled. These are quite often expired returns for credit. Info straight from a pharmaceutical rep.

    As far as how to find places that might accept donations try checking some of the agencies/programs you will find listed here:

    http://www.missionfinder.org/medstudents.htm

    Been there done the third world thing to a limited degree. A Lifepak 5 would be a modern marvel in many countries so long as they have the means to power it and obtain supplies needed for its use.

    Ayrman
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    I jujst read an article in Nurseweek about this very issue. Go to PROJECTCURE.ORG. They donate "throwaway medical supplies" to developing countries. They have warehouse distribution centers in Denver, Phoenix, Houston, St Paul and Nashville. They have volunteers who collect and sort the supplies into different categories. Check out the December 18th issue of Nurseweek (Mountainwest edition) for more information about this wonderful project.
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    I PM'd you... :spin:

    Lori
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    I love this site. I am sorry that it has been so long since I have been on. I will definitely be contacting some people from the list given to me. I work in a small hospital in Arizona that is having financial issues so shipping may be expensive but a drive to Phoenix won't be.

    I am not trying to donate medication other than IV fluids. I just feel that we shouldn't throw away supplies that I know are still good it has only been expired early so that the company can get you to buy more. unfortunately we have items expire not because we are overbuying, but because the people stocking the shelves don't rotate as they should. I hope that we are able to help other people.
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    I don't think it will be fair to donate to poor countries when you know you can't use it. It's just giving them more problems a nursing school will be reasonable.
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    Quote from chacha17
    I don't think it will be fair to donate to poor countries when you know you can't use it. It's just giving them more problems a nursing school will be reasonable.
    Huh?

    As for donating to nursing schools since they are for profit institutions I'd rather see donations go to animal shelters or countries that don't have our guidelines and will use the supplies. Just my two cents of course.
    beeker likes this.
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    I think you not using you two cents i think they need to work a bit harder are you trying to say guidelines can bypass something which has expired. Poor countries have also good human beings. What's wrong with students nurse to practice on dummies. My many concern personally isthe fact that the things have expired where she donates itdoes not matter as long as human being are not going to use that stuff poor or rich.


    Quote from Jules A
    Huh?

    As for donating to nursing schools since they are for profit institutions I'd rather see donations go to animal shelters or countries that don't have our guidelines and will use the supplies. Just my two cents of course.
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    I do know that Haiti won't accept out dated supplies or medicine. Not sure about other third world countries. If you have items that you no longer use and don't have outdates I can get you an address that will ship the items to the poor of Haiti.
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    Expired meds can not be donated that I know of...however...especially in LTC/ALF/CNF where patients come in with samples and your facility can't use them (because they are not labled...you in the know know what that means!). We found an awesome solution!!!!!!!!!

    We had so many of these 'samples' and couldn't use them (can't pass what we dont' have a label for...and pharm wouldn't label someone not of their pharmacy...don't blame them for that!)....we would donate those (not expired~!) to local medical teams that go overseas! Check out the ones for your state and see what their rules are...the local one here could take samples as long as they were NOT labeled with a patients Rx label...well gee..not a probelm because that was the original reason we couldn't use them!

    We also had many pts that got large Rx meds via mail and didn't need as much as they were sent...with permission we were able to remove those labels (as long as they were sealed and in a bottle that has manufacture, med, dose, exp date, and what not..couldn't use a prescription style bottle, had to be a manufacturer bottle like those white kinds with the logos and what not or inhaler boxes!) and send them to the organization!

    There are many rules about this per organization...so check with them first!

    Old medical equipment can be donated to various church groups...we have one here "St. Vincent De Paul" that takes medical equipment and pts can use them free of charge (well a donation is gladly accepted!) till you don't need it or can buy your own..and they just ask to please return it for another person! Nice system!!!!!!!!!!!

    Good luck!
    Hospice Nurse LPN likes this.
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    I am looking for medicine that hospitals no longer need because of expiriation. I live in Northern California. My wife and I go to Zimbabwe twice a year and would like to find a source for asprin and vitamins. Who can help me?
    Hospice Nurse LPN likes this.


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