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Thread: Used equipment

  1. #1

    Used equipment

    Some one told me yesterday there are new laws on used equipment. It must be disassembled, and sterilized before it can be given away or resold.
    Anyone else heard of this?
    I can't find anything new on the net.

  2. #2
    State or federal law? What is defined in the law as "medical equipment". I doubt this would be able to be enforced with private sales from individuals...more likely DMEs or hospitals that often sell their "used" (previously in their rental program) equipment.

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
    I doubt this would be able to be enforced with private sales from individuals...more likely DMEs or hospitals that often sell their "used" (previously in their rental program) equipment.

    (KLD)
    That makes a lot of sense. Probably trying to prevent transfer of "superbug" bacteria outside hospitals.
    Co-founder & CTO of MYOLYN - FES Technology for People with Paralysis - Empowering People to Move

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by baldfatdad View Post
    Some one told me yesterday there are new laws on used equipment. It must be disassembled, and sterilized before it can be given away or resold.
    Anyone else heard of this?
    I can't find anything new on the net.
    If such a law (as opposed to "best practices") exists, it doesn't appear to be federal/nationwide. A non-profit with which I'm affiliated regularly gets DME and other "medical equipment" (gurneys, exam tables, Xray machines, etc.) that show no obvious signs (or "notifications") of having received any special processing after removal from service.

    Some firms appear to put into place their own "best practices" in this regard; we often receive refrigeration units that have notices that they've been sterilized before disposal/donation.

    And, items from private donors show little signs of even having been "routinely cleaned" in their normal use (e.g., FRESH urine stains on powerchair leg rests).

    I'd appreciate a pointer to your source (unless its purely word-of-mouth and of no authoritative value).

  5. #5
    I'm more likely wrong. But back acouple years when this competitive bidding stuff started they mentioned people who was in like Group 2 powerchairs that were placed in hospitals or rehab for long periods that was still in the 13 month rental mode of taking DME back for re-use. If they actually done that then the DME had to clean thoroughly via steam. Put in rotation for next client.
    When orginal client was released from facility they would receive another powerchair or equipment that was in stock as a replacement.
    Now this most likely wrong cause read it online and we know internet is completly true and accurate!

    But, there are a few places in OKC that refurnishes equipment from donations that they give to folks without coverage which they do clean with steam and ect.
    Buying from individuals, Craiglists, E-bay I doubt seriously they even wiped down by looks of some of pictures.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by MikeP2013 View Post
    I'm more likely wrong. But back acouple years when this competitive bidding stuff started they mentioned people who was in like Group 2 powerchairs that were placed in hospitals or rehab for long periods that was still in the 13 month rental mode of taking DME back for re-use. If they actually done that then the DME had to clean thoroughly via steam. Put in rotation for next client.
    When orginal client was released from facility they would receive another powerchair or equipment that was in stock as a replacement.
    Now this most likely wrong cause read it online and we know internet is completly true and accurate!

    But, there are a few places in OKC that refurnishes equipment from donations that they give to folks without coverage which they do clean with steam and ect.
    Buying from individuals, Craiglists, E-bay I doubt seriously they even wiped down by looks of some of pictures.
    Dunno if there are any "rules" that apply -- besides common sense (and decency!).

    The non-profit I work with sanitizes all equipment before giving (or loaning) it out. Or, simply discards it if it isn't possible to do so, reliably (e.g., CPAPs), on a shoestring budget. If your purpose is to "help" folks, its a contradiction not to ensure they start off with the "best possible", under the circumstances. Things like powerchairs are a sore spot as they are often hard to clean, adequately, and hard to verify their mechanical integrity -- you don't want someone to break down on the corner of WALK and DON'T WALK (esp because we don't service those items after distribution). "When in doubt, throw it out!"

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by automation View Post
    "When in doubt, throw it out!"
    Really hate to throw equipment in to landfills. Wondering what kind of recycling facilities might take these items?

    After I posted the comment above, I went searching and found this article in New Mobility Magazine:
    http://www.newmobility.com/2017/12/s...nwanted-items/

    Safe Disposal of Unwanted Items
    Michael Collins December 2017
    Surplus power or manual wheelchairs, durable medical equipment and supplies can be collected, refurbished and shipped to developing countries where they are not readily available. Global Mobility USA, Whirlwind Wheelchairs, UCP Wheels for Humanity, Wheels for the World, Hope Haven International and several other organizations have been delivering those items in partnership with local groups for years.

    Some nonprofits have determined that it is often more cost-effective and quicker to provide new equipment rather collect and repair items that might have been "retired" in the United States. In some cases, these charities have established facilities in those other countries so that local residents can manufacture or assemble their own wheelchairs in the future.

    There are also organizations that collect, refurbish and distribute used equipment solely within our borders. United Spinal and the Wheelchair Foundation identify many of them in listings on their websites. Some organizations serve a designated geographical region. American Outreach Foundation serves California?s Coachella Valley, and the Triumph Foundation facilitates equipment exchange between consumers in the Los Angeles area.


    As for power mobility devices, some of the charitable organizations are refocusing their efforts on donations of manual equipment. Repairing outdated power wheelchairs requires extensive inventories of parts that may not be available from manufacturers years after they were made. Complex wheelchairs and large batteries may be difficult to import into a country that is not accustomed to widespread use of such devices. Many power wheelchairs have also proven to be less durable in developing countries where there may be fewer paved roads, sidewalks and flat surfaces. Finally, there may also be problems when recipients need to replace batteries, both because of unavailability where they live and the high price overall.


    Surplus wheelchairs or other medical equipment that can be repaired with minimal effort should not be sent to a landfill. Check with the nonprofits listed in resources or a local organization, like one of the Muscular Dystrophy Association loaner closets, to see if they accept such items. Someone, somewhere may be able to make use of it.
    Last edited by gjnl; 12-05-2018 at 03:38 PM.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by gjnl View Post
    Really hate to throw equipment in to landfills. Wondering what kind of recycling facilities might take these items?

    After I posted the comment above, I went searching and found this article in New Mobility Magazine:
    http://www.newmobility.com/2017/12/s...nwanted-items/

    Safe Disposal of Unwanted Items
    Michael Collins December 2017
    Surplus power or manual wheelchairs, durable medical equipment and supplies can be collected, refurbished and shipped to developing countries where they are not readily available. Global Mobility USA, Whirlwind Wheelchairs, UCP Wheels for Humanity, Wheels for the World, Hope Haven International and several other organizations have been delivering those items in partnership with local groups for years.

    Some nonprofits have determined that it is often more cost-effective and quicker to provide new equipment rather collect and repair items that might have been "retired" in the United States. In some cases, these charities have established facilities in those other countries so that local residents can manufacture or assemble their own wheelchairs in the future.

    There are also organizations that collect, refurbish and distribute used equipment solely within our borders. United Spinal and the Wheelchair Foundation identify many of them in listings on their websites. Some organizations serve a designated geographical region. American Outreach Foundation serves California?s Coachella Valley, and the Triumph Foundation facilitates equipment exchange between consumers in the Los Angeles area.


    As for power mobility devices, some of the charitable organizations are refocusing their efforts on donations of manual equipment. Repairing outdated power wheelchairs requires extensive inventories of parts that may not be available from manufacturers years after they were made. Complex wheelchairs and large batteries may be difficult to import into a country that is not accustomed to widespread use of such devices. Many power wheelchairs have also proven to be less durable in developing countries where there may be fewer paved roads, sidewalks and flat surfaces. Finally, there may also be problems when recipients need to replace batteries, both because of unavailability where they live and the high price overall.


    Surplus wheelchairs or other medical equipment that can be repaired with minimal effort should not be sent to a landfill. Check with the nonprofits listed in resources or a local organization, like one of the Muscular Dystrophy Association loaner closets, to see if they accept such items. Someone, somewhere may be able to make use of it.
    I know my DME replaced a hospital bed of mine while we lived in a high-rise building. Delivery/freight elevator was ground rear in parking garage. I used that elevator to get to outside parking lot to avoid double doors in lobby, just swipe my building card to open garage roll-in doors.
    Anyway, I found the Techs placing my old replaced bed and mattress in one of building's dumpsters. They said they could not reuse even any good parts on replaced equipment.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by gjnl View Post
    Really hate to throw equipment in to landfills.
    We don't "throw out" anything -- except plastic as you can't find a firm to process it in the quantities it is "generated" (disposed of). Clothing that is no longer "wearable" is recycled (rags -> paper, etc.); books -> paper; sheet metal; clean aluminum and copper (heatsinks from computers, etc.); circuit boards (from various types of electronic equipment); ... even the metal "spiral" on a spiral bound notebook is processed separately from the notebook's "paper". Wheelchair batteries (inevitably heavily sulfated by the time we see them) are recycled for their lead content.

    But, the real goal is to first "reuse" -- find someone who can use the item with some amount of refurbishing (given cost constraints -- we're not going to put new batteries into a powerchair just to find a user who can make use of it). Barring that, find a way to repurpose it for some comparable use (e.g., an LCD TV can often be repurposed as a computer monitor -- and vice versa). Barring that, disassemble the item into its constituent parts (see above) and recycle them. Barring that (e.g., plastics), toss in the trash.

    Wondering what kind of recycling facilities might take these items?
    Surprisingly few. There is a lot of effort required to refurbish an item. Then, you have to hope you can find a client (giveaway) who is looking for same in a reasonable period of time -- cuz there will be more stuff coming in TOMORROW that will need/want to be refurbished (and then STORED, awaiting yet another client!).

    Then, you have to deal with that client needing "support" for that equipment "after the SALE" (giveaway). They, naturally, think to return to YOU for that "service/support".

    And, of course, there are liability issues -- legal and/or moral.

    A powerchair typically needs:
    • new batteries
    • a charger (often "missing")
    • controller "reset"
    • thorough cleaning
    • some reupholstery
    • testing


    The client/user may need some instruction on how to use it (as they may never have owned such a device).

    And, they will need someone to call on when "something has gone wrong".

    The same applies to Hoyer lifts, hospital beds, patient gurneys, autoclaves, heparin pumps, etc.

    We can ship much of this stuff to other (second/third-world) countries. But, there you encounter problems with "too much" technology; a client in Guatemala may never be able to find replacement batteries for a powerchair! Even manual wheelchairs may be inappropriate in regions where much of the travel is on dirt paths.

    The truly useful items are those that are not dependent on technology, have no expiration date (e.g., pharma) and can be adapted to a wide variety of as yet unseen clients (e.g., a leg splint)

    It's really sad to see how much "stuff" we Americans discard...

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