As per NABH requirements there are both technical and administrative processes involved in proper disposal of condemned medical equipment.
Equipment Disposal process
Hospital management decides about quarantine or disposal of medical equipment.
Ø Quarantining the equipment means removing it from clinical use and putting it away like:
- For Training
- For Research project etc.
- For salvaging parts.
- For Scrap scale.
Ø If there is an alternative use, all service and inventory labels must be removed and all patient information deleted(where the device has IT storage capability)
Ø The equipment that cannot be found an alternative use must be disposed of safely. This will usually include
- Removal and segregation of mercury and glass parts, from BP monitor or sphygmomanometer.
- Removal and segregation of battery and electronic components (#ewaste) from digital thermometer etc.
- Removal and segregation of lead acid, Nickel Cadmium or other alkaline batteries for separate disposal in line with hospital policy.
- Evacuation of Cathode ray tubes to prevent the risk of implosion (Usually by breaking off the nipple at the back of the tube) from patient monitor.
- Removal of in line fuses, say from X-Ray or C-Arm.
- Cleaning and decontamination
- Removal of all mains to power up the device (i.e, on hard wired devices the mains cable should be cut off)
- Removal of all hoses able to pressurize a device (if driven by gases) such as in Boyle’s apparatus or suction pump.
Ø Once the precautions have been taken equipment may be sent to scrap or incinerated where appropriate or as per the house keeping policy.
Ø The Bio-medical Engineer in charge of the department should on the basis of experience, knowledge and authority decide when a piece of equipment/ Instrument should be scrapped and removed from use.
Ø The reasons for condemning equipment/Instrument will be usually
- Beyond economical repair where equipment comes in and the cost of repairing is considered too high after looking at the current value (taking depreciation into account) and the age of the equipment
- Technically obsolete – Parts and service support are no longer available.
- Clinically obsolete – The clinician using the device (or manufacturer) recommend replacement for clinical reasons.
- Equipment that has been damaged by contamination
Ø The BME HOD then sends notification of condemnation to the user department. User Department head fills up the condemnation form duly signed by HOD-BME.
Ø Condemnation form is sent to condemnation committee for consideration.
Ø Committee evaluates and decided regarding quarantine or disposal of equipment and the same is reported to the Departmental head by adding comments on condemnation form, which is further approved by the management.