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Are These The Most Expired Medical Supplies In America?

1/7/2020

Announcing the 2019 Most Expired Awards for medical supplies that have been sitting on hospital shelves the longest.

Welcome to the first-ever Most Expired Awards, where we honor the products that have been sitting on hospital shelves the longest.

At Z5 Inventory we pride ourselves on the thorough work that we do whenever we enter a hospital to help them Count or Reallocate medical and surgical supplies. That includes going through each and every package and looking for expiration dates. 

And we might just have run across some all-time champions in 2019. 

 

An IV Set that expired in 2007 but was found on hospital shelves in 2019.

Taking Bronze in this year's Most Expired Awards is this Kawasumi IV Set that expired in June 2007. Overheard in the counting area less than 5 minutes before this package was found were the words: "I can't believe I found something that expired in 2014. That blows my mind."

And then our minds were blown even more...

 

An Ethicon Safety IV Catheter that expired in February 2007.

Silver in this year's MEA is an 18 Gauge Safety IV Catheter provided by Ethicon. This bad boy simultaneously barely beat out our 3rd Place contestant AND barely made into 2007 before expiring. A February 2007 expiration date was good enough to secure that Second Place spot, though it was almost certainly manufactured in 2006 or before.

Speaking of manufacture dates, let's unveil our Champion Of Champions...

 

The Most Expired of the Most Expired is this Argon Sampling Plug that expired in 2002.

The Gold MEA Culpa goes to... Argon Sampling Plug!

You'll notice something special about our 1st Place winner. Compare it (on the left) to a much more recent package (but still absolutely expired, as you can see on the right). 

Aside from the fact that our winner is so old that the packaging and manufacturer logo was redesigned between when it hit the shelf and now - and, in fact, has changed again since then - you'll also see that it's old enough that they didn't bother putting an expiration date on the package. 

Doing a little detective work, we found that all of these Argon Sample Plugs expired five years after manufacture. So that means - since this product was manufactured in 1997 - that it expired in 2002. 

Children who were born when this plug expired will turn 18 next month. They will be able to vote. They'll be preparing to enter the workforce. Hopefully we can rely on them not to leave product sitting around a hospital, unused, for 23 years. 

Congratulations, Sampling Plug. You deserve the Gold. And by "Gold," we mean "To Be Properly Disposed Of, Because You Are A Danger To Patients And A Drain On Hospital Resources." 

 

With a little help, Z5 Inventory can make sure what's on your shelves doesn't end up on our Wall Of Shame, too. (Just like we did with the hospitals featured above, we promise to keep your name out of it. We're more interested in saving you money than embarrassing you.) 

 

Topics: selling medical inventory, supply chain management, medical supply, digital supply management, healthcare inventory, buying medical supplies, expiration, awards, carrying cost, patient safety

Alex Diamond

Written by Alex Diamond

Raised in the armpit of East Texas before escaping to the civilization of Austin, Alex is an author and former radio/podcast personality. If you ever run into him, ask him about the day he split his pants in front of the Lone Ranger.