Reusing medical supplies - page 2

What do you think of doctor's offices that reuse medical supplies? I am not talking about things that are sterilized and standard to be reused. Here are two examples. One, I worked as a CMA for... Read More

  1. by   canoehead
    I think its probably safe but very yucky. I would tell them a used urine cup was just too gross to carry around. Don't have a problem with washing ear speculums.
  2. by   DIPLOMATICRN4HIRE
    In third world contries we reuse as much as possible because we may or may not be able to get the product again for months or even a yr at a time. But Im sure where you are located is far from third world. Small items that are easily cleaned and sterilized and do not enter into the cavitys of a body should be fine for recleaning and using, if it helps on overhead costs, then do it. Items that are used on the same patient I can see where that is cost effective as well is they are just doing a standard base test, and not in need of strict sterility.
    There are many articles that are used over and over on many patients in the hospital the largest of the reused areas are Laundry and Surgical pans. Each are cleaned and repackaged for the next patient.
    Zoe
  3. by   renerian
    I am with you. I would not like those practices.

    renerian
  4. by   emily_mom
    I wonder if he washed his hands between doing vag checks....or if he just wiped them on a towel to save water.....

    Kristy
  5. by   hapeewendy
    ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh kristy
    vomitus ensuitus

    lordy
    yeah good point though, where does the cost saving end?
    I shudder to think about it
    I'm about to buy medical supplies wholesale and bring them to the dr when I go ........ here ya go buddy, I know youre a chepass so I splurged for myself, gloves - check, urine bottles - check, tongue depressors (or popsicle sticks whichever) - check
    saving costs is one thing ,and I totally get the third world country thing.. obviously
    but if my peeing in the same cup over and over again pays for my dr's cheesey "#1doc" license plates then forget it , new bottles for all! put it on my tab!
  6. by   BadBird
    Some patients undergoing endoscopic procedures contacted a deadly virus, there have been deaths and after a through investigation it was found that the sanitizer was not effective in killing that bug, I forgot which one it was, but can you imagine, I hope the scopes that they use on the rectum were not the same ones used down the throat, Gross!!! I know in many hospitals they "recycle" equipment such as SCD's, well if they are soiled I throw them out, I sure would not want someone elses cooties on me!
  7. by   hapeewendy
    there was a story here some time ago, I cant remember the details but it invovled something similar to what youre talking about badbird, I think it was in Quebec, and they sent out letters to patients that may have been exposed to something due to improperly santized instruments......
    scary
    I dont think I can read anymore of this thread
    that thing about the scopes, hubboy .......
  8. by   AHarri66
    Back in the Day, people would bring their urine for dipstick to the doc's in a pickle jar from home....washed and dried, of course. Same results.
  9. by   MishlB
    Originally posted by BadBird
    Some patients undergoing endoscopic procedures contacted a deadly virus, there have been deaths and after a through investigation it was found that the sanitizer was not effective in killing that bug, I forgot which one it was, but can you imagine, I hope the scopes that they use on the rectum were not the same ones used down the throat, Gross!!! I know in many hospitals they "recycle" equipment such as SCD's, well if they are soiled I throw them out, I sure would not want someone elses cooties on me!
    Yes, cooties can be very dangerous.
  10. by   SmilingBluEyes
    how does one sterilize an ear piece or specimen cup? different than instruments that go into autoclave, come on we can see that. and the US is NOT a 3rd world country, we have the resources, and cut costs in many of the wrong places. (such as nursing as well.) And "back in the day", we were not dealing w/superbugs resistant to all but one or two antibiotics, or HIV and strains of Hepatitis that were then-unknown, were we? JMO. Flame at will.
    Last edit by SmilingBluEyes on Dec 31, '02
  11. by   flowerchild
    I don't see this as a big problem. Otoscope covers can be reused if properly cleaned in antiseptic solution. If the urine cup is being used by the same person to check values in the urine with a dip stick and not for U/A C+S then what's the problem? I would never use a used cup for a sterile or clean catch urine specimen that is going to the lab. I remember reusing thermometers, the glass ones, after dipping them in alcohol. I'm really glad we don't do that anymore. Many moons ago when I was prego with my first, I brought my a.m. urine into the clinic in a old pickle jar with a lid that I had washed myself, took it home and cleaned it again and again. I also had to provide my own squirt bottle for cleansing after the delivery, it was a cleaned out dish soap bottle. I'm not that old, not even 40 yet. I used a midwife and not a Doc, so all my care was provided by a nurse. Granted, things have improved and things always change, but reusing certain items is OK as long as the item does not cross contaminate. Sounds like your OB has been around for awhile, I'd rather have a OB Doc that has the experience to know what is OK and what is not and have the experience of many deliveries. I wouldn't change Docs just b/c he gave you your urine cup back for reuse. It's your cup!
  12. by   MishlB
    Originally posted by SmilingBluEyes
    how does one sterilize an ear piece or specimen cup? different than instruments that go into autoclave, come on we can see that. and the US is NOT a 3rd world country, we have the resources, and cut costs in many of the wrong places. (such as nursing as well.) And "back in the day", we were not dealing w/superbugs resistant to all but one or two antibiotics, or HIV and strains of Hepatitis that were then-unknown, were we? JMO. Flame at will.
    There are such products as cold sterilizations solutions. Meaning, you can soak items in it and they are "sterile". No need for heat sterilization or autoclaving. Alcohol is used as well.
    And back in the day...there were superbugs, just that now we have meds to treat them, so they are no longer so super.
  13. by   brianpribis
    We are nurses. That is we are medical professionals charged with the awsome responsibility of protecting our pt from harm and promoting their well being(health). ANYTHING that will go back on those two things should and must be avoided (yes, even cooties!). Now, the fact is our health care system in the US is going down the tubes in a flash. Many people cannot even afford health care that really need it. That forces many to really on the government for coverage. Costs MUST be cut. They just have to. However, how can someone possibley justify reusing despossible equipment in the US when so much gross over spending is happening elsewhere? There is a reason that insurance for my family would cost me (with the employer picking up some of the tab) almost $500.00 / month with a $1000 deductable and it ain't because doctors are using too many urin cups! Point in case, my grandfather was in the hospital once. One of the doctors (not one in charge of his care) cam by, popped his head in the room and said, "How we doing today Mr. Pribis?" Sure enough, a consultation charge showed up from this doctor on the bill for a one time visit. This is small potatos compared to what is going on out there. In the end, who is suffering because of the overspending? The Doctors? The Hospital VIPs? The Administrators? No, the patients. The people we are responsible for. We are not just there to heal the big diseases and take care of the badly injured, we are there to comfort the dying and to give the occassional back massage too (do they still teach that in school?). The whole pt., remember? (Sorry, cost cutting on the little things to hide the gross fleecing on the big things gets me a bit fired up).

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