Founded in 1991 by William H. Rosenblatt, MD, Professor of Anesthesiology at Yale University School of Medicine, REMEDY is a group of health care professionals and others promoting the nationwide practice of recovery of exposed-but-unused surgical supplies. The end goal of our mission is to provide international medical relief while reducing solid medical waste from US hospitals.
Originally, REMEDY was conceived as a means to collect surgical supplies for use in the volunteer medical mission trips in which Dr. Rosenblatt participated at various Latin American hospitals. On these trips he gained an appreciation for the critical shortages of supplies in developing nations and much more awareness of the overabundance of these same supplies in US hospitals, from which a tremendous amount of unused, but clean supplies are disposed.
Gloves, sutures, drapes, gowns and many other items prepared but not used during a medical procedure are discarded because they are considered "un-sterile" even if there has been no contact at all with the patient. Due to legal concerns and FDA regulations, these supplies are not usable in this country but are enthusiastically accepted by many U.S.-based charitable organizations for distribution to healthcare personnel throughout the developing world where they are so desperately needed.
While individual healthcare workers have voluntarily collected supplies for many years, such efforts are often erratic and may place both the individual and the institution at legal risk. In addition, these isolated efforts cannot possibly recover the huge surplus that becomes available in U.S. hospitals.
The program at Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, CT (which continues as our pilot project) served as the basis for studies conducted by Dr. Rosenblatt in collaboration with Dr. David Silverman. These studies demonstrated the efficacy, cost-effectiveness, environmental ramifications, and usefulness of supplies recovered through the REMEDY program. When published, inquiries began to pour in from medical professionals from across the U.S.
In response, REMEDY, Recovered Medical Equipment for the Developing World, became a non-profit organization committed to teaching and promoting the recovery of surplus OR supplies. Drs. Rosenblatt and Silverman developed a comprehensive In-service Teaching Packet with information needed to start a standardized recovery program based on the REMEDY model, applicable to any surgical procedure in any hospital in the U.S. Proven recovery protocols were designed to be quickly adapted to the everyday operating room or critical care routine.
The REMEDY Teaching Packet is distributed free of charge to all requesting hospitals.
Rather than reinvent the wheel, REMEDY suggests turning to the huge network of U.S.-based non-profit medical charities to form partnerships. It is the mission of these groups to support and successfully deliver medical assistance and supplies to nations in need. They have the staff, knowledge, experience, funding and contacts overseas to successfully deliver these recovered supplies to medical professionals serving populations in need. We encourage each hospital recovery program to target donations to whatever organization or project they wish.
As of June, 2006, the REMEDY at Yale program alone has donated more than 50 tons of medical supplies! It is estimated that at least $200 million worth of supplies could be recovered from U.S. hospitals each year (just from operating rooms!)... resulting in an increase of 50% of the medical aid sent from the United States to the developing world.
To date REMEDY has assisted hundreds of hospitals around the country in program implementation and the identification of potential recipient charities. REMEDY relies on the expertise of these U.S.-based agencies to distribute these materials abroad in the most efficient and useful manner.