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Saving Lives and Saving Money Through Recovered Medical Equipment
MEDWorld Medical Equipment for the Developing World Georgine Lamvu-Schooler, MD, Director University of North Carolina Hospitals Chapel Hill, North Carolina Duke Recovers Daniel Burnett Duke University School of Medicine Duke Hospital Durham, North Carolina
In the interest of optimal medical management and protection from litigation U.S. hospitals throw away millions worth of unused medical supplies and equipment each year. Each year UNC hospitals spends thousands of dollars in medical waste disposal and storage.
How do U.S. Hospitals benefit from recovery and donation programs?
1993 study done by the Yale REMEDY program estimated that
“ a nationwide recovery program could yield more than 193 million in charitable material and reduce operating room waste by more than 1.7 million kilograms (1948 tons)
Environmentally responsible alternative to excess waste
Bring awareness to unnecessary disposal
Improved staff morale
Focus attention on the medical needs of developing countries and provides U.S. physicians, nurses and medical students with the opportunity to practice medicine overseas in clinics and hospitals serving the poor
“ Legal and regulatory standards in this country are unique to our legal and political climate-not all are necessarily essential for the provision of safe, effective patient care. … Our culture assumes that replacements are uniformly available.”
Many donated supplies are critical and can be used in life-saving situations. Recipients are usually aware of the risk of recovery and resterilization.
Donated material should be re-usable (NOT trash), safe and inspected prior to use by the recipients.
Re-usable items are those which have been opened but not used or have been contaminated by reasons other than patient contact. All large equipment must be safe and operational. Exposed sharps are not recyclable.
MEDWorld Operations Medical supplies collected in MEDWorld bins by volunteers and taken to Central Distribution.
Supplies are inspected, sorted, inventoried and packaged in cardboard boxes. Each box is labeled with a disclaimer and recipient address. MEDWorld Operations
MEDWorld Operations Boxes are stacked on pallets, shrink wrapped and shipped receiving charities.
MEDWorld receiving charities:
Little Samaritan Mission of Romania and Moldova
Operation Renewed Hope
Individual physician and medical student projects
MEDWorld donates to over thirty countries around the world
All recipients must demonstrate sterilization capability and proof