On the reprocessing of items-It is up to the clinical site as to use or not to use. The fact that the FDA certifying the individual items for the number of times it can be used, is a scientifically investigated process. Not just some guy saying I can resterilize this stuff and doing it. Some hospitals actually reprocess for themselves in accordance with the FDA guidlines. Who ever does this becomes the liable party. I hope you don't think the OEM is going to step up and say: "It is our fault." when a patient got injured while using their product. If there is a law suit everybody will be named and the oem will not send a lawyer to accept the blame or represent you.
I also agree with you that a metal instrument is the best option economically. However, we use lots of disposable stuff where a reusable instrument is the better option financially. Are all of your docs using steel trocars? In my perfect world they do. Reality says they don't and won't.
The reprocessors do know how the things are supposed to work and must assure that every piece works as specified. They have physicians and nurses on their staffs for consultation. Reprocessors are required to have all of the technical data and design information that the OEM used to make it and the item must leave the reprocessor meeting the exact OEM spec. Do you think the Malasian, Mexican, Brazilian or other third world native that works in the manufacturing facility knows how to use the thing they make and can assure that every one of the thousands they made that day work exactly as specified? No! The OEM is only required to select a sample from that batch and test those. They then either accept or reject the others in the batch base on the few tested. Again....reprocessors must check each and every item and accept or reject each one.
Emotion of some of the parties posting here must be removed. Poopsiebear thinks reusing things is disgusting. Don't we reuse things every day? As far as liability goes-Thinking you are not liable for using a hopital processed re-usable instrument and you will be liable for using a reprocessed item is silly. Yes, a reusable device is the best option but not always possible. Sometime a disposable is required to be used. If it can be reused shouldn't it? It may be more economical to throw things away but due diligence is required before making those decisions, not just paranoia over liability issues and thinking reprocessing is disgusting.