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The Case for Recycling Surgical Supplies
HealthLeaders Media

It’s not that surprising that millions of dollars in surgical supplies are opened in operating rooms but go unused every year in the average teaching hospital.

What is surprising is the amount of that waste—about $15.4 million a year in any large hospital—and that at least some of these supplies could be used in developing countries where they are in short supply or unavailable.

These are the findings of a team of Johns Hopkins and other surgeons who calculated the value of materials they retrieved from their hospital’s waste containers sent to Ecuador over a three-year period. Their paper on their project is published Oct. 16 in the World Journal of Surgery.