- Explorer Moments
Finding a Home for Unused Medical Supplies
Anesthesiologist William Rosenblatt organized a U.S.-based program to repurpose medical supplies headed for the garbage.
Early in his medical career, William Rosenblatt spent time volunteering on Latin American relief missions, where he saw financially strapped hospitals frequently reuse and repurpose operating room supplies.
After returning to the U.S., the anesthesiologist quickly realized that there was a potential treasure trove in the unused medical supplies routinely discarded in hospital operating rooms, including surgical gloves, syringes, sutures, gauze bandages, surgical gowns, and other items prepared for medical procedures but discarded due to legal concerns and Food and Drug Administration regulations.
“I started asking nurses to collect stuff for hospitals in the developing world,’’ Rosenblatt says. “It soon occurred to me that we could do this in every operating room—the same supplies that were constantly being reused overseas were [here]