Summit Express Medical Supply strongly recommends that patients do not attempt to wash and reuse catheters, but instead use sterile medical catheters in order to preserve and enhance patient health and safety. Sterile catheters are Single Use Devices (SUDs). They are not approved by the FDA to be washed and re-used. They were not designed to facilitate cleaning and sterilization. As a result, SUDs often have unique features such as acute angles, crevices, and joints and rough, porous or occluded surfaces that make access difficult, create barriers to cleaning and allow for the collection of blood, tissue and other organic matter. Household washing and re-using of medical catheters will almost always be incapable of penetrating this biological tissue residue, leaving potentially pathogenic bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms on the catheters which may infect or re-infect a patient on reuse.
Indeed, independent laboratories have conducted tests on professionally reprocessed low or moderate risk SUDs that break sterile or mucosal barriers (such as catheters) that were on hospital shelves ready to be used. In some instances, over 90% of the products tested positive for the presence of residual tissue, and more than 60% of the reprocessed products fell far below sterility standards established by the FDA. This was testing done on professionally washed and re-cleaned medical catheters. Can you imagine what a home-cleaned catheter must contain when it is washed and re-used? Moreover, methods traditionally used to destroy human and animal pathogens do not appear to destroy prions, the causative agent for spongiform encephalopathies such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob (Mad Cow) disease, raising particular concern regarding the reprocessing of devices used for invasive procedures. Even if sterility can be ensured, organic residue may still remain on reprocessed catheters due to inadequate cleaning. Such sterile pyrogens, blood, tissue and other organic residue can trigger potentially fatal immune reactions.
See Dana Hawkins, News You Can Use: Risky Recycling, U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT (Sep. 20, 1999). A number of articles highlighting the risks associated with reprocessed SUDs appeared in several magazines and newspapers, including: Neil Weinberg, Blood Money: Junkies reuse discarded medical equipment—and it turns out maybe you do, too, courtesy of cost-cutting hospitals, FORBES (March 22, 1999); Dana Hakins, Risky Recycling: That "disposable" catheter may have been used before, U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT (Sep. 20, 1999); Gina Kolata, ‘Single Use’ Medical Devices are Often Used Several Times, NEW YORK TIMES (Nov. 10, 1999).
|Last Updated on Monday, 24 September 2012 13:30|
Summit Express Blog
Welcome to Summit Express
Urgent and Extremely Important!!
Within the past year an extremely disturbing trend has emerged. More and more insurance companies are excluding sterile intermittent catheters and other related supplies from their policies.
Insurance companies are currently excluding all urological supplies from some of their renewals after previously covering these items. It is extremely important during this open enrollment period to confirm that your new policy still covers sterile intermittent catheters, closed system catheters, hydrophilic catheters, leg bags, bedside bags and external condom catheters.
Don’t just assume that all of your urological supplies will continue to be covered. Please be proactive and contact your HR department or insurance agent to confirm that all urological supplies are covered in your new policy. You can also contact us and we will verify that your policy covers your urological supplies. 203-292-5043
Summit Express Medical Supply isn't just any ordinary medical supply company. We only distribute urological catheters and related supplies. We distribute intermittent catheters, closed system catheters, external condom catheters and foley catheters from leading manufacturers such as Bard, Coloplast, MTG, Hollister, Kendall, Rusch and Cure. And when you call, you will be able to speak directly to one of the owners of the company. We never hide behind voicemail!!.