Are You Still Using Banned Surgical Mesh Products?

Medsafe banned nine surgical mesh products from use in hospitals and among surgeons in New Zealand.

The country’s medical regulatory body decided to ban the mesh products following Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration’s review of the items. Based on Accident Compensation Corporation figures, the product caused at least $13 million of pay-outs for injuries in the last 12 years.

Sourcing Medical Instruments

The ban once again reminded healthcare practitioners and facilities about the importance of sourcing products, such as Adson bipolar forceps, scalpels, electrosurgical devices and other accessories, only from reliable providers.

There is also a debate on using disposable items and reusable medical instruments. Each has their own benefits and disadvantages. For instance, you no longer have to worry about sanitation when you use disposable products, although these contribute to environmental waste. This is not a problem with using reusable items, but it does pose some concerns about safety.

In the end, the choice of using either two should depend on the advantages and the best output delivered to patients.

Safety Issues

As of late January, Medsafe group manager Chris James said that New Zealand no longer procures all banned products under the Australian register. The regulatory agency confirmed this by requesting safety information from four medical suppliers in December 2017.

The banned mesh products are used for surgical work, such as pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence. The rule does not affect surgical mesh products used for hernia repair. For now, James advised practitioners that they should disclose full information to patients about the safety and risks of surgical mesh products, aside from obtaining their consent.

Where do you source your surgical mesh products? When in doubt, you should check Medsafe’s website or contact them for safety information for all medical devices and accessories.