Nursing

News spotlight: Maine nurse starts non-profit program to collect unwanted hospital waste

Nurse Leader Insider, November 16, 2009

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Every year, millions of dollars in unused medical supplies are thrown away because of strict infection control policies. Hospitals even dispose of some supplies just because they are outdated, or a newer piece of equipment comes along and the old one is no longer valuable to the hospital.

Elizabeth McLellan, who has worked as a nurse for more than 30 years, could no longer handle seeing perfectly good items go to waste, so she started her own nonprofit organization. McLellan runs the organization out of her own home in Portland, ME, and sends the unwanted inventory she collects from hospitals to clinics in developing countries. Sterile syringes, gloves, and alcohol swabs are just a few of the supplies that fill several rooms in her house.

With the help of volunteers, McLellan has already collected 10,000 pounds of unused medical supplies from just a handful of hospitals, and hopes to convince more hospitals to get on board with her organization and have the number grow even more.

Source: New Hampshire Public Radio



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