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  • Used equipment

    Some one told me yesterday there are new laws on used equipment. It must be disassembled, and sterilized before it can be given away or resold.
    Anyone else heard of this?
    I can't find anything new on the net.

  • #2
    State or federal law? What is defined in the law as "medical equipment". I doubt this would be able to be enforced with private sales from individuals...more likely DMEs or hospitals that often sell their "used" (previously in their rental program) equipment.

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by SCI-Nurse View Post
      I doubt this would be able to be enforced with private sales from individuals...more likely DMEs or hospitals that often sell their "used" (previously in their rental program) equipment.

      (KLD)
      That makes a lot of sense. Probably trying to prevent transfer of "superbug" bacteria outside hospitals.
      Co-founder & CTO of MYOLYN - FES Technology for People with Paralysis - Empowering People to Move

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by baldfatdad View Post
        Some one told me yesterday there are new laws on used equipment. It must be disassembled, and sterilized before it can be given away or resold.
        Anyone else heard of this?
        I can't find anything new on the net.
        If such a law (as opposed to "best practices") exists, it doesn't appear to be federal/nationwide. A non-profit with which I'm affiliated regularly gets DME and other "medical equipment" (gurneys, exam tables, Xray machines, etc.) that show no obvious signs (or "notifications") of having received any special processing after removal from service.

        Some firms appear to put into place their own "best practices" in this regard; we often receive refrigeration units that have notices that they've been sterilized before disposal/donation.

        And, items from private donors show little signs of even having been "routinely cleaned" in their normal use (e.g., FRESH urine stains on powerchair leg rests).

        I'd appreciate a pointer to your source (unless its purely word-of-mouth and of no authoritative value).

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        • #5
          I'm more likely wrong. But back acouple years when this competitive bidding stuff started they mentioned people who was in like Group 2 powerchairs that were placed in hospitals or rehab for long periods that was still in the 13 month rental mode of taking DME back for re-use. If they actually done that then the DME had to clean thoroughly via steam. Put in rotation for next client.
          When orginal client was released from facility they would receive another powerchair or equipment that was in stock as a replacement.
          Now this most likely wrong cause read it online and we know internet is completly true and accurate!

          But, there are a few places in OKC that refurnishes equipment from donations that they give to folks without coverage which they do clean with steam and ect.
          Buying from individuals, Craiglists, E-bay I doubt seriously they even wiped down by looks of some of pictures.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by MikeP2013 View Post
            I'm more likely wrong. But back acouple years when this competitive bidding stuff started they mentioned people who was in like Group 2 powerchairs that were placed in hospitals or rehab for long periods that was still in the 13 month rental mode of taking DME back for re-use. If they actually done that then the DME had to clean thoroughly via steam. Put in rotation for next client.
            When orginal client was released from facility they would receive another powerchair or equipment that was in stock as a replacement.
            Now this most likely wrong cause read it online and we know internet is completly true and accurate!

            But, there are a few places in OKC that refurnishes equipment from donations that they give to folks without coverage which they do clean with steam and ect.
            Buying from individuals, Craiglists, E-bay I doubt seriously they even wiped down by looks of some of pictures.
            Dunno if there are any "rules" that apply -- besides common sense (and decency!).

            The non-profit I work with sanitizes all equipment before giving (or loaning) it out. Or, simply discards it if it isn't possible to do so, reliably (e.g., CPAPs), on a shoestring budget. If your purpose is to "help" folks, its a contradiction not to ensure they start off with the "best possible", under the circumstances. Things like powerchairs are a sore spot as they are often hard to clean, adequately, and hard to verify their mechanical integrity -- you don't want someone to break down on the corner of WALK and DON'T WALK (esp because we don't service those items after distribution). "When in doubt, throw it out!"

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            • #7
              Originally posted by automation View Post
              "When in doubt, throw it out!"
              Really hate to throw equipment in to landfills. Wondering what kind of recycling facilities might take these items?

              After I posted the comment above, I went searching and found this article in New Mobility Magazine:
              http://www.newmobility.com/2017/12/s...nwanted-items/

              Safe Disposal of Unwanted Items
              Michael Collins December 2017
              Surplus power or manual wheelchairs, durable medical equipment and supplies can be collected, refurbished and shipped to developing countries where they are not readily available. Global Mobility USA, Whirlwind Wheelchairs, UCP Wheels for Humanity, Wheels for the World, Hope Haven International and several other organizations have been delivering those items in partnership with local groups for years.

              Some nonprofits have determined that it is often more cost-effective and quicker to provide new equipment rather collect and repair items that might have been "retired" in the United States. In some cases, these charities have established facilities in those other countries so that local residents can manufacture or assemble their own wheelchairs in the future.

              There are also organizations that collect, refurbish and distribute used equipment solely within our borders. United Spinal and the Wheelchair Foundation identify many of them in listings on their websites. Some organizations serve a designated geographical region. American Outreach Foundation serves California?s Coachella Valley, and the Triumph Foundation facilitates equipment exchange between consumers in the Los Angeles area.


              As for power mobility devices, some of the charitable organizations are refocusing their efforts on donations of manual equipment. Repairing outdated power wheelchairs requires extensive inventories of parts that may not be available from manufacturers years after they were made. Complex wheelchairs and large batteries may be difficult to import into a country that is not accustomed to widespread use of such devices. Many power wheelchairs have also proven to be less durable in developing countries where there may be fewer paved roads, sidewalks and flat surfaces. Finally, there may also be problems when recipients need to replace batteries, both because of unavailability where they live and the high price overall.


              Surplus wheelchairs or other medical equipment that can be repaired with minimal effort should not be sent to a landfill. Check with the nonprofits listed in resources or a local organization, like one of the Muscular Dystrophy Association loaner closets, to see if they accept such items. Someone, somewhere may be able to make use of it.
              Last edited by gjnl; 12-05-2018, 03:38 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by gjnl View Post
                Really hate to throw equipment in to landfills. Wondering what kind of recycling facilities might take these items?

                After I posted the comment above, I went searching and found this article in New Mobility Magazine:
                http://www.newmobility.com/2017/12/s...nwanted-items/

                Safe Disposal of Unwanted Items
                Michael Collins December 2017
                Surplus power or manual wheelchairs, durable medical equipment and supplies can be collected, refurbished and shipped to developing countries where they are not readily available. Global Mobility USA, Whirlwind Wheelchairs, UCP Wheels for Humanity, Wheels for the World, Hope Haven International and several other organizations have been delivering those items in partnership with local groups for years.

                Some nonprofits have determined that it is often more cost-effective and quicker to provide new equipment rather collect and repair items that might have been "retired" in the United States. In some cases, these charities have established facilities in those other countries so that local residents can manufacture or assemble their own wheelchairs in the future.

                There are also organizations that collect, refurbish and distribute used equipment solely within our borders. United Spinal and the Wheelchair Foundation identify many of them in listings on their websites. Some organizations serve a designated geographical region. American Outreach Foundation serves California?s Coachella Valley, and the Triumph Foundation facilitates equipment exchange between consumers in the Los Angeles area.


                As for power mobility devices, some of the charitable organizations are refocusing their efforts on donations of manual equipment. Repairing outdated power wheelchairs requires extensive inventories of parts that may not be available from manufacturers years after they were made. Complex wheelchairs and large batteries may be difficult to import into a country that is not accustomed to widespread use of such devices. Many power wheelchairs have also proven to be less durable in developing countries where there may be fewer paved roads, sidewalks and flat surfaces. Finally, there may also be problems when recipients need to replace batteries, both because of unavailability where they live and the high price overall.


                Surplus wheelchairs or other medical equipment that can be repaired with minimal effort should not be sent to a landfill. Check with the nonprofits listed in resources or a local organization, like one of the Muscular Dystrophy Association loaner closets, to see if they accept such items. Someone, somewhere may be able to make use of it.
                I know my DME replaced a hospital bed of mine while we lived in a high-rise building. Delivery/freight elevator was ground rear in parking garage. I used that elevator to get to outside parking lot to avoid double doors in lobby, just swipe my building card to open garage roll-in doors.
                Anyway, I found the Techs placing my old replaced bed and mattress in one of building's dumpsters. They said they could not reuse even any good parts on replaced equipment.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by gjnl View Post
                  Really hate to throw equipment in to landfills.
                  We don't "throw out" anything -- except plastic as you can't find a firm to process it in the quantities it is "generated" (disposed of). Clothing that is no longer "wearable" is recycled (rags -> paper, etc.); books -> paper; sheet metal; clean aluminum and copper (heatsinks from computers, etc.); circuit boards (from various types of electronic equipment); ... even the metal "spiral" on a spiral bound notebook is processed separately from the notebook's "paper". Wheelchair batteries (inevitably heavily sulfated by the time we see them) are recycled for their lead content.

                  But, the real goal is to first "reuse" -- find someone who can use the item with some amount of refurbishing (given cost constraints -- we're not going to put new batteries into a powerchair just to find a user who can make use of it). Barring that, find a way to repurpose it for some comparable use (e.g., an LCD TV can often be repurposed as a computer monitor -- and vice versa). Barring that, disassemble the item into its constituent parts (see above) and recycle them. Barring that (e.g., plastics), toss in the trash.

                  Wondering what kind of recycling facilities might take these items?
                  Surprisingly few. There is a lot of effort required to refurbish an item. Then, you have to hope you can find a client (giveaway) who is looking for same in a reasonable period of time -- cuz there will be more stuff coming in TOMORROW that will need/want to be refurbished (and then STORED, awaiting yet another client!).

                  Then, you have to deal with that client needing "support" for that equipment "after the SALE" (giveaway). They, naturally, think to return to YOU for that "service/support".

                  And, of course, there are liability issues -- legal and/or moral.

                  A powerchair typically needs:
                  • new batteries
                  • a charger (often "missing")
                  • controller "reset"
                  • thorough cleaning
                  • some reupholstery
                  • testing


                  The client/user may need some instruction on how to use it (as they may never have owned such a device).

                  And, they will need someone to call on when "something has gone wrong".

                  The same applies to Hoyer lifts, hospital beds, patient gurneys, autoclaves, heparin pumps, etc.

                  We can ship much of this stuff to other (second/third-world) countries. But, there you encounter problems with "too much" technology; a client in Guatemala may never be able to find replacement batteries for a powerchair! Even manual wheelchairs may be inappropriate in regions where much of the travel is on dirt paths.

                  The truly useful items are those that are not dependent on technology, have no expiration date (e.g., pharma) and can be adapted to a wide variety of as yet unseen clients (e.g., a leg splint)

                  It's really sad to see how much "stuff" we Americans discard...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Liability is the key word in this thread. No one with good intent wants to help someone and the receiver of the generosity gets injured (= donor might get sued) due to reliability, lack of support, or lack of ability. Power chair users need assessment as to their ability to operate and chair needs adapting to the individual in many cases for safe operation.
                    Manufacturers/dealers aren't motivated to repair, supply parts or support for older and some cases near new chairs. Insurance usually will replace chair in 5 years and (believe it or not) manufacturers design them to last 5 years. After 5 yrs, parts aren't available new and/or are cost prohibitive. Price check new tires for an example. Batteries: DIY if you can for $400, from Permobil can cost as much as $1500 not including labor.
                    Tech info is OEM proprietary which makes getting repair info near impossible. Complex electronics have no standardized diagnostics like automobiles (OBDII) so scanners/programmers are brand and model specific. Also, OEM doesn't want to sell them unless you are authorized, plus they are expensive. This has been my biggest obstacle in repairing my chairs.
                    Attack life, it's going to kill you anyway
                    Steve Mcqueen (Mr Cool)

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                    • #11
                      Yeah, I have a 20-year-old Permobil parked in my living room for over a year because it needs a tire and a battery. The upholstery is beat up but it ran, or used to. Called around numerous organizations, nobody wants it.
                      Hotel list: Hoyer-friendly beds, low and adjustable-height beds

                      Blog: https://thewheeledwonder.wordpress.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Gearhead View Post
                        Liability is the key word in this thread. No one with good intent wants to help someone and the receiver of the generosity gets injured (= donor might get sued) due to reliability, lack of support, or lack of ability. Power chair users need assessment as to their ability to operate and chair needs adapting to the individual in many cases for safe operation.
                        You can take some steps to reduce your exposure to lawsuits. And, many non-profits don't have any assets to make them "juicy targets" (think: ambulance chasers).

                        The bigger problem, IME, has been that it takes a fair bit of skill and dexterity to repair/refurbish a donated/used powerchair (or scooter). And, a fair bit of hand-holding for a first time user of said device. Things that you might consider as second nature (don't travel across an incline but, rather, up/down it) would be lessons hard learned by a novice. The sorts of problems you encounter and instinctively resolve (motor clutches not engaged) could leave a novice stumped.

                        [I refurbed a scooter for a woman some time ago. Batteries went flat on her on one of her outings. Her colleagues PUSHED her home. But, she neglected to tell them to disengage the clutch so they felt like they were pushing a dead weight -- Ooops!]

                        Who does the recipient call when they have questions? Problems? Need repairs/parts? Do you keep someone standing by to field these questions and provide these services in perpetuity? (and for free??)

                        Even folks who might be electrically/mechanically inclined to repair/refurbish might not be savvy on the other issues related to chair use.

                        [I discarded a Quickie Model mumblemumble some years ago because I didn't have a programmer and it was set "too fast": "Someone will get killed driving that thing!"]

                        Manufacturers/dealers aren't motivated to repair, supply parts or support for older and some cases near new chairs. Insurance usually will replace chair in 5 years and (believe it or not) manufacturers design them to last 5 years. After 5 yrs, parts aren't available new and/or are cost prohibitive. Price check new tires for an example. Batteries: DIY if you can for $400, from Permobil can cost as much as $1500 not including labor.
                        The batteries were shot in the chair I used for my "self-driving" prototype. No way in hell I'm going to shell out that sort of money just to test/demonstrate a concept! So, I removed the (dead) batteries and replaced them with a pair of power supplies pulled from a large (computer) server. As a result, chair has a really long power cord trailing behind it when I demonstrate it. But, folks can easily imagine a power cord being replaced by batteries!

                        We just delivered an Invacare chair to a disadvantaged client. Who knows what they'll do when they have a problem with it! OTOH, should we just discard it even with useful life remaining?

                        I have a Permobil m300 HD to fix Monday. But, I've been told to "fix it or toss it" as they don't have room to store it for me to tinker with as I find time to do so. Already have a client lined up to receive it so the "toss it" option would be really sinful!

                        Tech info is OEM proprietary which makes getting repair info near impossible. Complex electronics have no standardized diagnostics like automobiles (OBDII) so scanners/programmers are brand and model specific. Also, OEM doesn't want to sell them unless you are authorized, plus they are expensive. This has been my biggest obstacle in repairing my chairs.
                        I suspect many vendors just play the "isolate by swapping components" game. Of course, THEY have spares available (or COULD have). Should you keep a spare chair just to use to diagnose your "real" chair?

                        The manufacturer has no real incentive to make it easier for the end user to diagnose problems. That just takes business away from their distributors and makes it harder for those to stay in business. Imagine if the only way to purchase was direct from the factory. Likewise, any "substantial" service required you to ship the chair to them...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Spitzbub View Post
                          Yeah, I have a 20-year-old Permobil parked in my living room for over a year because it needs a tire and a battery. The upholstery is beat up but it ran, or used to. Called around numerous organizations, nobody wants it.
                          We've even found that "tinkerers/hobbyists" have no interest in them as "motorized platforms" (e.g., local robotics clubs). Once they've acquired one or two, their "demand" is saturated.

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                          • #14
                            It tuned out to be complicated to donate my late friend's fairly new leg prosthetics. It's illegal to donate them in the US. A couple of prosthetic companies have set up infrastructure to donate it abroad.
                            Blog:
                            Does This Wheelchair Make My Ass Look Fat?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by betheny View Post
                              It tuned out to be complicated to donate my late friend's fairly new leg prosthetics. It's illegal to donate them in the US. A couple of prosthetic companies have set up infrastructure to donate it abroad.
                              We ship them to groups in Latin America that can then fit them to local clients. This may not be ideal for those folks -- but it is often a considerably better result than they would otherwise have!

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