Medicine: Disposing of Disposables

Hospitals that once had horrendous difficulties in washing and sterilizing mountains of linen and equipment now have that problem largely solved. They use disposable supplies, which reduce the risk of infections spreading within the hospital: presterilized bed pads, sheets, pillowcases, blanket covers, examination gowns, surgical masks and drapes, oxygen canopies, water carafes, dishes and drinking cups, transfusion tubing and fittings, thermometers, and perhaps most important of all, hypodermic syringes and needles. But the hospitals, as well as doctors in their private offices, are finding that they have replaced one problem with another: how to dispose of the disposables.

Use all these items...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!