To reuse or not to reuse – that is the question
Karen Castille Senior Nurse/Business Manager, A&E Department, Royal Bolton Hospital
Karen Castille examines the issues concerning the re-use of products designed for single use. This article was first published in Nursing Standard. 13, 34, 48-52. Readers who successfully completed a written ‘Practice Profile’ assessment on that occasion may not do so again.
The aim of this article is to develop or update nurses’ knowledge of the legal, professional and ethical issues relating to the reuse of products that are designed and designated for single use. Nurses are becoming increasingly responsible for risk management and an awareness of the implications for nursing practice of reusing single use products is paramount. The potential benefits and disadvantages of reuse are discussed to help nurses make informed, objective decisions that focus on ensuring that practice is safe, as well as cost effective. After reading this article you should be able to:
Explain what is meant by reuse and how it relates to nursing practice.
Suggest examples from nursing practice of potentially hazardous reuse.
Discuss the potential benefits and disadvantages of reuse.
Outline the legal, professional and ethical considerations relating to reuse.
Critically examine your own practice and identify potential risks relating to reuse.
Emergency Nurse. 7, 4, 32-36. doi: 10.7748/en1999.07.7.4.32.c1286