Analysis of the state of the art in the management of disused medical equipment
This document represents the deliverable D.A.1.1 and its scope is to describe the results of the analysis of the state of the art in the field of medical equipment discarded and waste of medical equipment.
Medical equipment discarded causes a significant impact from the economic, social and environmental point of view. Although the donation of used medical equipment to charitable organizations seems to reduce social and environmental implications, in many cases donated medical equipment remain in good conditions for only a limited time and then quickly become waste (World Health Organization , 2001).
Therefore, it is of great importance that the waste or the donation of medical equipment disposal are managed in an effective way, to help reduce the overall impact of the equipment discarded and improve the sustainability of the management of medical equipment both in healthcare facilities and at a global level.
In the first part of the deliverable, the results of the literature review are reported. Although on some topics partially related to the theme under investigation, such as the management of WEEE in general or the maintenance of medical devices, many papers have been published, on the specific topic of the disposal of medical equipment, the technical and scientific literature is rather poor and its impact to date has been limited. In fact, to the best of our knowledge, only two paper has been published (Mannocci et al., 2012; Lefebvre & Romero, 2011). According to such papers, the discard of medical equipment is perceived by health facilities as a matter of secondary importance and its proper management is consequently neglected.
In the second part of the deliverable, the results of the analysis on the field are reported. The lack of literature references and the heterogeneity of the processes that were observed thanks to preliminary contacts with some health facilities have highlighted the need to include in the analysis a large number of health facilities. Thus, a semi-structured web based survey was developed and a questionnaire was administered to health facilities in four European Countries: Italy, Spain, Germany and Romania. From the survey we obtained 64 completed questionnaires, 50 from Italian health facilities, 10 from Spain, 3 from Germany and one from Romania.