Original Scientific Report

World Journal of Surgery

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 29-35

First online:

Global Public Health Impact of Recovered Supplies from Operating Rooms: A Critical Analysis with National Implications

  • Eric L. WanAffiliated withDepartment of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Email author 
  • , Li XieAffiliated withDepartment of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • , Miceile BarrettAffiliated withDepartment of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • , Pablo A. BaltodanoAffiliated withDepartment of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • , Andres F. RivadeneiraAffiliated withDepartment of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Luis Vernaza Hospital
  • , Jonathan NoboaAffiliated withDamien House Organization
  • , Maya SilverAffiliated withDepartment of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • , Richard ZhouAffiliated withDepartment of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • , Suzy ChoAffiliated withDepartment of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
    • , Tammie TamAffiliated withDepartment of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
    • , Alp YurterAffiliated withDepartment of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
    • , Carol GentryAffiliated withDepartment of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
    • , Jorge PalaciosAffiliated withDepartment of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, Luis Vernaza Hospital
    • , Gedge D. RossonAffiliated withDepartment of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
    • , Richard J. RedettAffiliated withDepartment of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

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Abstract

Background

In modern operating rooms, clean and unused medical supplies are routinely discarded and can be effectively recovered and redistributed abroad to alleviate the environmental burden of donor hospitals and to generate substantial health benefits at resource-poor recipient institutions.

Methods

We established a recovery and donation program to collect clean and unused supplies for healthcare institutions in developing nations. We analyzed items donated over a 3-year period (September 2010–November 2013) by quantity and weight, and estimated the projected value of the program under potential nationwide participation. To capture the health benefits attributable to the donated supplies at recipient institutions, we partnered with two tertiary-care centers in Guayaquil, Ecuador and conducted a pilot study on the utility of the donated supplies at the recipient institutions (October 2013). We determined the disability-adjusted life years (DALY) averted for all patients undergoing procedures involving donated items and estimated the annual attributable DALY as well as the cost per DALY averted both by supply and by procedure.

Results

Approximately, 2 million lbs (907,185 kg) per year of medical supplies are recoverable from large non-rural US academic medical centers. Of these supplies, 19 common categories represent a potential for donation worth US $15 million per year, at a cost-utility of US $2.14 per DALY averted.

Conclusions

Hospital operating rooms continue to represent a large source of recoverable surgical supplies that have demonstrable health benefits in the recipient communities. Cost-effective recovery and need-based donation programs can significantly alleviate the global burden of surgical diseases.