Makers of disposable medical devices are up in arms over reprocessors who have turned their single-use surgical tools, catheters, and instruments into reusable items. The companies want to earn revenue every time a device is used –making an item a throwaway is the easiest way to do it.
Now the device makers are pursuing a new tactic: publicizing the dangers of reprocessing and pushing for state legislation in Massachusetts to outlaw reuse without patient consent. A newly introduced bill in the state legislature was drafted by device maker Smith & Nephew.
There’s a scary picture of a contaminated device in the Boston Globe today. What one interviewee calls the “yuck factor” is the main hope the device makers have in order to outlaw the practice. According to the Globe, the Massachusetts Hospital Association and the American College of Cardiology say reuse is safe.October 19, 2005