Non-profit dialysis provider Satellite Healthcare has moved to a single-use dialyzer policy. The dialysis provider is no longer giving patients the option of re-using their dialyzers, and as of Sept. 1, all of its hemodialysis patients are dialyzing using a single-use dialyzer. Satellite said it made the decision after examining new data indicating an increased potential risk associated with the practice of reuse.

“Patient safety is Satellite Healthcare’s top priority. Our decision to institute a more costly single-use dialyzer policy was made after a thorough review of the current literature and extensive consultation with dozens of our industry leading nephrologists,” said Dave Carter, chief operating officer of Satellite Healthcare. “We believe that completely eliminating the reuse of dialyzers across all Satellite Healthcare facilities nationwide will enable us to provide our patients with the highest quality of care available.”

The historic advantages of dialyzer re-use have included decreased generation of biomedical waste and cost savings, in addition to the prevention of “first-use syndrome” associated with the use of a new dialyzer. However, recent advancements in technology and sterilization techniques have significantly bolstered the benefits afforded by single-use dialyzers.

“By employing only single-use dialyzers, we’re able to eliminate the risk of cross-utilization or exposure to chemical or bacterial contamination,” said Brigitte Schiller, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Satellite Healthcare. “In addition, clearance of uremic toxins is reliably provided with each single treatment.”