RESULTS A – Preparatory actions

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.


Report on the state of the art of medical equipment discarded