Cleaning plant shutdown could lead to surgical tool shortage

November 1, 2019

Hospitals could soon face shortages of surgical tools because several plants that sterilize the equipment have been shut down, according to an article on the ABC News website.

Several sterilization facilities that use ethylene oxide were shut down. 

The gas is critical for cleaning medical equipment, but it can be hazardous at elevated levels and is increasingly being scrutinized by state health and environmental officials, the article said.

The FDA urged hospitals to inventory their supplies and alert government officials if they face major shortages. The agency said regulators could help identify alternative devices for those impacted by the issue.

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