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The Danger of Using Expired Medical Devices

Updated: May 3

When it comes to healthcare, patient safety is always the top priority. However, using expired medical devices, including implants, can put patients at risk and increase the likelihood of complications.

According to a 2011 FDA study, 83% of hospitals in the United States reported using expired medical devices. The use of expired medical implants can be particularly dangerous as they may lose their sterility, which increases the risk of infections and other postoperative complications.

A 2015 study published in the Spine journal found that the use of expired spine implants increased the risk of surgical complications and reduced treatment effectiveness. Medical device manufacturers, including implant manufacturers, generally recommend that devices be used within a specific window of time, which usually ranges between 3 and 5 years.

In addition to the health risks, using expired medical implants can also have financial implications for healthcare providers. For example, in 2018, a hospital in Indiana agreed to pay a $15,000 fine for using expired medical implants on multiple patients.

It is important for healthcare providers to take measures to prevent the use of expired medical implants. This may include establishing clear policies for medical device inventory management, as well as regularly training staff on identifying expired devices.

In conclusion, using expired medical implants can have serious consequences for patient health and should be avoided whenever possible. By following proper inventory management practices and staying vigilant about expiration dates, healthcare providers can ensure the safety and well-being of their patients.


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