How do I know if a device is for single use?
It will have the symbol (see right) on the packaging or on the device itself.
What does single-use mean?
It means DO NOT REUSE. A single-use device should be used on a single patient during a single procedure, and then discarded safely. It should not be reprocessed and used again, even on the same patient.
Why shouldn’t a single-use device be reused?
Serious incidents have been reported relating to the reuse of single-use devices. Reuse is unsafe because of the risk of:
- Cross-infection resulting from the inability to effectively clean and decontaminate a device due to it’s design.
- Endotoxin reaction resulting from excessive bacterial breakdown products which cannot be removed by cleaning.
- Patient injury caused by the failure of the device following reprocessing. Products that are not designed for multiple-use may not withstand reprocessing adequately as a result of material alteration, embrittlement or fatigue. Sharp edges will become dulled, the lumen of fine tubes may be blocked, and moving parts may not function properly.
- Chemical burns or sensitisation as a reaction to the chemicals or decontaminants which may be absorbed by the device during reprocessing.