Single-Use versus Reusable Dialyzers: The Known Unknowns

Thursday, January 31, 2013 | By Scott | 3 Comments

Ashish Upadhyay, Marie Anne Sosa, Bertrand L. Jaber

The practice of reusing dialyzers has been widespread in the United States for decades, with single use showing signs of resurgence in recent years. Reprocessing of dialyzers has traditionally been acknowledged to improve blood–membrane biocompatibility and prevent first-use syndromes. These proposed advantages of reuse have been offset by the introduction of more biocompatible membranes and favorable sterilization techniques. Moreover, reuse is associated with increased health hazard from germicide exposure and disposal. Some observational studies have also pointed to an increased mortality risk with dialyzer reuse, and the potential for legal liability is another concern. The desire to save cost is the major driving force behind the continued practice of dialyzer reuse in the United States. It is imperative that future research focus on the environmental consequences of dialysis, including the need for more optimal management of disinfectant-related waste with reuse, and solid waste with single use. The dialysis community has a responsibility to explore ways to mitigate environmental consequences before single-use and a more frequent dialysis regimen becomes a standard practice in the United States.

Dialyzer reuse has been practiced in the United States for decades but remains a topic of ongoing controversy.

Read more in the Clinical Journal of the Society of Nephrology

3 Comments to Single-Use versus Reusable Dialyzers: The Known Unknowns

  1. January 31, 2013, by Countrygirl1019

    Not to mention when reuse techs or lazy techs drop them on the floor and still use them. I have worked in clinics this has been done. Its all about the cost! One clinic I was at literally left the dialyzers out after being taken down from the machine for several hour before refrigeration. And on a coule occasions the dialyzer was left out next to the machine all night and still used the next day. They are to be kept at a specific temperature!

  2. January 31, 2013, by Chris

    I suppose a person could believe the fine company people and their fine company studies saying reuse is whiz-bang, or they could believe the likes of John Hopkins, the University of Pennsylvania, the National Institute of Health (NIH), and England’s Oxford University who say reuse is bad news. More on reuse here (scroll down the page a bit):

  3. January 31, 2013, by Peggy Maxfield

    I didn’t even know the dialyzers were supposed to be refrigerated! Is that all of them or just specific ones?

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