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Can You Trust Your Hospital?

Considering America leads the world in an especially dubious category when it comes to your health -- medical errors -- you won't be surprised by the latest cost-cutting measure being adopted by a growing number of hospitals here: Recycling medical devices originally intended for one-time use.

What's more, according to this awesome Washington Post piece (free text link below), you'll never know which devices are new or recycled, and your doctor probably won't either! No surprise, the FDA is behind this nonsense...

Many hospital administrators claim the practice is safe and cost-effective. The parents of an infant who gagged on a resterilized feeding tube and, can only eat food now through a tube attached to his stomach, would likely disagree with you, however.

Reminds me of the disturbing horror stories surrounding the cleaning of surgical instruments with hydraulic fluid instead of detergent at two hospitals in the Duke University System, among of the finest in the country, and the damage that did to patients.

The best way to avoid recycled, repurposed and completely unnecessary medical devices and procedures: Focus on affecting variables within your control, like optimizing your health by making a number of sensible lifestyle changes.

Washington Post December 11, 2005

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