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From: TSS (216-119-132-66.ipset12.wt.net)
Subject: Hospitals re-using single-use devices
Date: February 2, 2005 at 1:08 pm PST

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Hospitals re-using single-use devices
Date: Wed, 2 Feb 2005 14:48:17 -0600
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
To: BSE-L@LISTSERV.KALIV.UNI-KARLSRUHE.DE


##################### Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy #####################

Hospitals re-using single-use devices

Matthew Lee


February 3, 2005

Medical devices intended for one-time use only are being re-used in
public hospitals, the health chief has admitted.

Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food York Chow told legislators on
Wednesday that more than 600 types of single-use devices were being
re-used in public hospitals.

He was responding to a question from health services sector
representative Joseph Lee.

The issue came to light in 2003 when it was found that 10 patients had
received brain surgery carried out with instruments that had previously
been used to treat a 53-year-old man with Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
(CJD), the human variant of mad cow disease.

The Hospital Authority said the chances of the disease being transmitted
to the 10 patients was extremely low.

That case sparked fears that re-using medical devices could transmit
fatal diseases among patients.

On Wednesday, Chow could not provide records of re-use of medical
devices despite being requested to do so by Lee.

``In a hospital's normal operation, many medical devices can be re-used
many times,'' Chow said.

``To ensure patient safety, there are procedures, guidelines and
standards within the Hospital Authority on the proper processing and
sterilization of these devices after use.''

He said there is no conclusive evidence showing appropriate re-use of a
single-use device will increase the risks of infection, or other risks,
for patients. In fact, ``it is 100 percent safe,'' Chow said.

He even suggested that the advice of some manufacturers not to re-use
certain devices is based on commercial rather than health grounds.

``Not many manufacturers would encourage re-using the devices. We will
not re-use devices applied to high-risk procedures, such as heart blood
vessel surgery. But, for low-risk procedures, devices may be re-used
given that patients' safety and treatment effectiveness are
guaranteed,'' he said.

Chow said the authority spent about HK$800 million a year on devices.
Disposing of all single-use devices after one time would cost HK$100
million to HK$300 million a year.

``If I had the extra money, I would rather spend it [on] expensive
drugs,'' Chow said.

Health services panel chairman Andrew Cheng of the Democratic Party
criticized the authority, accusing it of treating patients like guinea
pigs.

Independent legislator Leung Kwok-hung said ignoring the advice of
manufacturers puts patients, who have no choice in the matter and are
uninformed, in danger.

``Just like condoms, you should follow the manufacturer's instructions
and not re-use them,'' he said.

matthew.lee@globalchina.com

Copyright 2005, The Standard, Sing Tao Newspaper Group and Global China
Group. All rights reserved. No content may be redistributed or
republished, either eletronically or in print, without express written
consent of The Standard.

http://www.thestandard.com.hk/stdn/std/Metro/GB03Ak05.html


TSS

######### https://listserv.kaliv.uni-karlsruhe.de/warc/bse-l.html ##########

IN this day and age this is so stupid i will not even comment...TSS



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