Concerns over expired PPE highlights importance of time monitoring
The coronavirus pandemic has led to greatly increased demand for personal protective equipment (PPE). Agencies around the world have been hurriedly shipping any available supplies to healthcare centres, comprising millions of units.
Regrettably, healthcare workers are reporting that some of these supplies are past their stated expiration dates, potentially rendering them unusable for critical procedures such as surgery.
This scenario is a dramatic example of the importance of implementing clear and easy to use indicators to allow monitoring of medical supplies against their designed lifetime, thus ensuring complete efficacy.
Products with finite lifetimes include face mask filters, cannulas and IV feeds, as well as many chemicals such as hand sanitisers.
While the shipping and even the use of time expired medical supplies is understandable in the current public health emergency, healthcare authorities planning their procurement systems have the opportunity to ensure the safe restocking of supplies going forward.
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