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At the end of life, medical equipment can follow three major paths. The first being destruction, medical equipment which cannot be sterilized and is contaminated, then are incinerated; an example of this would be surgical waste that is soaked in bodily fluids and cannot possible be re-used. Some equipment contains toxic elements such as mercury and are dealt with according to the proper regulations and standards. The second path is recycling option. For example, in the case of MRI machines and many medical devices, more than 90% by weight can be recycled for material content. The final major path medical devices take is refurbishment. Medical devices on this path are generally collected by the manufacturers, fixed, updated, supplied with a new warranty and resold to the secondary market at a large percent of the original sticker price.This research examines the current practices of incineration, landfill, reuse, and refurbishment for medical devices and how the the industry can best reduce the environmental impact of these practices, reduce costs for hospitals and consumers, and improve the humanitarian efforts which are already underway. In addition, this research will discuss the philanthropy efforts surrounding reusable medical equipment and government involvement and incentives to recycling, reuse, and donate medical devices. A trend of refurbishment rather than buying new could be emerging from hospitals due to the Affordable Care Act which often case exempts refurbishers from a new medical device tax that was implemented under the law.
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Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Stander Symposium poster
Arts and Humanities | Business | Education | Engineering | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Physical Sciences and Mathematics | Social and Behavioral Sciences
Bahdasarian, Tyler J.; Grocic, Aleksandar; Hauser, Julia C.; and Panameno, Jose C., "Research exercise: Pathway Toward the End-of-life Options for Medical Devices and Equipment" (2015). Stander Symposium Posters. 596.
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