Reusing medical devices labeled as single-use sounds sketchy. Especially in the time of COVID, when the sharing of anything seems like a sure route to disaster. But it has an important role in lowering medical costs and reducing the carbon footprint of healthcare. Medical waste is a big problem, and it’s gotten even worse throughout the pandemic. Enter a little-known green healthcare industry created specifically to reduce costs for hospitals – reprocessing. It’s an industry that could prove vital in the fight against climate change. Expanding the Definition of Single-Use Medical Items If hospitals were a country, they would be the fourth largest source of pollution, according to Health Affairs, a leading journal of health policy thought and research. Think about how many millions of pieces of personal protective equipment healthcare professionals don and discard every day. And that is only a fraction of the materials they use daily. The solution, for some experts, is simple: Reprocess “single-use” medical devices and eliminate over 7,100 tons of waste and then some. What kind of single-use items are we talking about reprocessing? Face masks? Gloves? In a healthcare setting? Not so much. But there are plenty of items labeled single-use that […]


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