Patrick Hearn, Vanguard Medical Concepts, Inc., Florida, USA
Comments on restoration of used PTCA catheters to reduce inventory costs in your cath lab?

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• Hi I am a R&D engineer in medical device manufacturing plant and I am interested in this article (re-use the PTCA catheter). Could you please supply me the address of those cleaning companies or their procedures to do a trial test.
Siamak, HessMed, Toronto, August 26, 2005

• I agree to reuse some of the PTCA material -- only if that material is not damaged and if it is well resterilized, but I think that the main point should be "Are the manufacturers of these materials able to give better prices?" What is the gross margin for them? 100%, 200%, 1000%. I´m sure they can.
Carlos Gonzalez R., Richmond,B.C. Canada, 27 Aug 2001

• Acting as a medical clinic in Belgium, we also heard that there are a few labs in Germany that specialized in cleaning/sterilizing and packing the catheters in order to resell them to the customers. Please let me have any information to connect to these labs (also in other European countries). Thank you in advance.
Alex Mewis, Virga Jesse Hospital, Hasselt, BELGIUM, March 14, 2000

• Today the FDA called for more scrutiny of hospitals and companies involved in the recycling of medical devices (balloon and other catheters mentioned specifically) to meet the same standards as those of original equipment manufacturers.
Webmaster, PTCA.ORG, February 10, 2000

• For me...use a new one! Having been in the surgical sales arena for the past 22 years, I've heard too many ugly stories about failed equipment being the culprit for surgical problems. I'm slated for an angiogram tomorrow. If angioplasty proves to be necessary they do NOT have my permission to use a catheter that has been used previously...even if they/we save a couple of hundred dollars.
Christopher Lawson, Illinois, USA, January 31, 2000

• Are there any protocols for method of resterilization? Our hospital demands that plus any data on safety. I personally totally agree with potential for reuse. Is there a need to inform the patient whether resterilized equipment is being used?
Kazmi Khawar, The Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi, PAKISTAN, September 9, 1999

• Medical devices are essentially tools utilized to solve or prevent a medical condition. Any workman who throws away usable tools because it is convenient is a luxury the medical business cannot afford. Using the best tools and taking care of them insures that the most important part in a successful procedure (the people) are optimized.
T. R. Browne, retired (& patient), USA, July 23, 1999

• In response to your request, it seems to me that the most important ingredient to a successfull use of a PTCA catheter is the skill and knowledge of the people involved in the procedure. Making available the best devices to the best people provides the highest likehood for a successful outcome. Since cost is a key ingredient in the management of a successful catheterization laboratory, it is only logical to optimize the cost by reducing waste. Wasting money on single use devices is comparable to discarding old money after it has been used once. The device or the money is a tool to be used not an end in itself.
T. R. Browne, retired (& patient), USA, July 7, 1999

• Acting as a medical clinic in Israel, we are looking for a system to lower the budget of our PTCA procedures. We have heard that there are a few labs in Germany that specialized in cleaning/sterilizing and packing the catheters in order to resell them to the customers. Please let me have any information to connect to these labs (also in other European countries). Thank you in advance.
Ariel Margalit, T.T.G. Ltd., ISRAEL, January 10, 1999

• Absolutely. We reuse every PTCA catheter, provided it keeps good form after using. In our countries is a good policy, economic and safe. We have not had any infectious complication because of this, and some balloons are used 3 or 4 times.
Sergio Mejía, Clínica Cardiovascular Santa María, COLOMBIA, September 12, 1998

• Comments on restoration of used PTCA catheters to reduce inventory costs in your cath lab?
Patrick Hearn, Vanguard Medical Concepts, Inc., Florida, USA, May 22, 1998

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