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View Full Version : Thoughts on expired medications & FEMA study


hermosabeach
12-17-2012, 3:45 PM
2GRBn8XxdFY

I found this video interesting. I work with a 1st responder group and they wanted to throw away expired bandages and such as they were past there expiration date.

My thoughts were that until storage became an issue- that is a lack of space to store items- we should keep them

Should we get hit with the 8+ quake, all resources are good.

I just don't see why Gloves and sterile bandages should be tossed based upon a date stamp on the label of they are still sterile.

delta9
12-17-2012, 4:34 PM
It's against the law for any medical professional to use expired medications or materials - they could potentially loose their license by doing so. With bandages and the like, you could always repackage and run them though an autoclave

cruising7388
12-17-2012, 5:15 PM
It's against the law for any medical professional to use expired medications or materials - they could potentially loose their license by doing so. With bandages and the like, you could always repackage and run them though an autoclave

What you are describing is the most cynical unadulturated scam accomplished by the pharmaceutical industry in modern history. What medication are you aware of that has 100% medical efficacy for 365 days, suddenly reduced to 0% efficacy on the 366th day?

Re bandages, you're joking, right? What is accomplished by breaking open a sterile bandage in a sealed package to run it through an autoclave and then attempt to reseal it in a sterile container without contaminating it?

delta9
12-17-2012, 5:24 PM
Re bandages, you're joking, right? What is accomplished by breaking open a sterile bandage in a sealed package to run it through an autoclave and then attempt to reseal it in a sterile container without contaminating it?

No, you put them into a sealable autoclave pouch or wrap and then run them though the autoclave. Most items, when stored correctly, are assumed to be sterile for one year when packaged this way

Librarian
12-17-2012, 6:43 PM
It's against the law for any medical professional to use expired medications or materials - they could potentially loose their license by doing so. With bandages and the like, you could always repackage and run them though an autoclave

I'm not sure it's "against the law" (never looked into it - got a reference?) but in ordinary care, if something were to go wrong and it was determined that expired materials or meds were used in treatment, there would likely be liability for the people and institution(s).

For my personal stuff, if it has not been damaged or wet, I'm keeping it, and I would not hesitate to use it on myself or my family, or in an emergency, on other people.

For nursing school, I bought a box of XL sterile gloves (all the kits for things like catheters seem to have mediums, good for most women, I guess, but completely useless for me). Those expired Sept 2009, but the ones I have still are undamaged, and I would use them as better than something out of a box of 'clean' gloves. They are, however, wrapped in paper; if ever they get wet, out they go.

Steve_In_29
12-17-2012, 6:46 PM
Pharmaceutical companies routinely donate "expired" meds to health services in 3rd world countries.

Norcalkid
12-17-2012, 7:03 PM
What you are describing is the most cynical unadulturated scam accomplished by the pharmaceutical industry in modern history. What medication are you aware of that has 100% medical efficacy for 365 days, suddenly reduced to 0% efficacy on the 366th day?

Re bandages, you're joking, right? What is accomplished by breaking open a sterile bandage in a sealed package to run it through an autoclave and then attempt to reseal it in a sterile container without contaminating it?

tetracycline can become toxic after expiration. But ya I know what your saying.

jyo
12-17-2012, 8:44 PM
Boy, I must be in big trouble---I've used the same box of bandaids for several years now---didn't even look for experation date---I am an idiot...

delta9
12-18-2012, 8:40 AM
I'm not sure it's "against the law" (never looked into it - got a reference?) but in ordinary care, if something were to go wrong and it was determined that expired materials or meds were used in treatment, there would likely be liability for the people and institution(s).


Form the California Board of Pharmacy:
"Prescription medication shall not be dispensed after the expiration date on the manufacturer’s container. The expiration date placed on the prescription label should be that of the effectiveness of the drug (Business and Professions Code section 4076[a][9]). That date, in most circumstances, is the date printed on the manufacturer’s container."


I remember reading somewhere that the FDA did studies on a variety of medications and found that most were still still good after 5 years of ideal storage. But most medications are not stored ideally being exposed to air, moisture, light, and temperatures. I think that expired tetracycline antibiotics have been linked to kidney damage but for the most part many expired drugs are probably safe to use but may not be as effective. So the best thing to consider is risk vs benefit

yelohamr
12-18-2012, 2:02 PM
Is there an expiration date on maxi-pads and duct tape? Together, they make a good compress bandage.

hermosabeach
12-18-2012, 2:13 PM
Is there an expiration date on maxi-pads and duct tape? Together, they make a good compress bandage.

Why would you use a product designed to absorb blood as a compression bandage?

You want something to promote clotting. Not something designed to wick moisture.

Duck tape on skin is better than nothing but will be harder to remove.

capnemo
12-18-2012, 8:05 PM
It's against the law for any medical professional to use expired medications or materials - they could potentially loose their license by doing so. With bandages and the like, you could always repackage and run them though an autoclave

I highly doubt this extends to "materials" from what I have read.

I was going through our stock, all our burn dressing packages stated "good unless package opened or damaged". The exact same manufacturer's burn sheets in the same package now have an expiration date. Tell me this was not done to boost sales.....

johnny1290
12-18-2012, 11:25 PM
Duct tape works great for me. I'm always cutting my fingers and hands, plus it never expires! ;-)

delta9
12-19-2012, 7:08 AM
I highly doubt this extends to "materials" from what I have read.

I was going through our stock, all our burn dressing packages stated "good unless package opened or damaged". The exact same manufacturer's burn sheets in the same package now have an expiration date. Tell me this was not done to boost sales.....


The expiration dates of many non drug/stable materials usually relates to the ability of the seal on the packaging to keep the contents sterile. Those burn dressings probably have some sort of cooling gel or may be impregnated with antibiotics which can defiantly loose effectiveness over time. I know for a fact that some types of suture degrade over time. In the real world expired materials should be fine for several years beyond expiration, but the company won't stand behind it and a medical professional would have a hard time defending him/herself in court with a malpractice lawsuit related to using expired materials.

calif 15-22
12-19-2012, 2:14 PM
Having worked in Medical Devices for 25 yrs here is what I know:

Companies test products out to typically 2-4 years for exipration dating. They way the do that is with "excerlated aging" meaning the heat the product in ovens at a certain time and temp to simulate real time aging.

Most companies don't go out that far for two reasons. One it takes to long and two they want them to expire so you buy more.

It could very well still be good for 10yrs it's just that no one has done the testing to ensure it.

NaClAddict
12-19-2012, 2:19 PM
Gloves definitely go bad. I'd hate to think I had a store of them only to be gloveless when SHTF happens.

Librarian
12-19-2012, 3:04 PM
Gloves definitely go bad. I'd hate to think I had a store of them only to be gloveless when SHTF happens.

They do get dried out and 'crunchy'; I think the nitrile do that more slowly than latex or poly. I'm finishing up a box of nitrile at home that is over 5 years old, and they are still fine. Just bought another two boxes.

bRiT636
12-27-2012, 8:12 AM
2GRBn8XxdFY

I found this video interesting. I work with a 1st responder group and they wanted to throw away expired bandages and such as they were past there expiration date.

My thoughts were that until storage became an issue- that is a lack of space to store items- we should keep them

Should we get hit with the 8+ quake, all resources are good.

I just don't see why Gloves and sterile bandages should be tossed based upon a date stamp on the label of they are still sterile.

IF they decide to throw them away let me know, I need to build a better first aid kit and have no qualms about using 'old' bandages.

Packy14
12-27-2012, 9:10 AM
Tylenol and tetracycline/doxycycline and I think flagyl get toxic with age. For most things potency just reduces