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Contraception. 1980 Mar;21(3):235-44.

Disposable menstrual regulation kits in a non-throw-away economy.


The directions for use that are packaged with plastic menstrual regulation kits state that the kits are designed to be durable for approximately 50 procedures when used as directed. However, in much of the developing world, directions for use are ignored, equipment is not maintained properly and nothing (including disposable medical equipment) is discarded until it is unless. Therefore, it is of interest to know for how many procedures the disposable menstrual regulation kit can safely be used. This paper describes a study conducted in Singapore to determine the durability of three menstrual regulation kits manufactured by different companies and comments on how cleaning and sterilizing affects the durability of these kits.


Directions on plastic menstrual regulation kits indicate they are designed for approximately 50 procedures and should then be discarded. In many parts of the developing world, directions for use are ignored, equipment is not properly maintained, and nothing is discarded until it is useless. A comparative study was conducted to determine how long such kits can safely be used. 3 MR (menstrual regulation) kits from different manufacturers--Rocket of London, Burnet of Lawrence, Kansas, and International Projects Assistance Services (IPAS) of Chapel Hill, North Carolina--were evaluated at Kandang Kerbau Hospital in Singapore. Each kit was evaluated under 6 different cleaning procedures. Results are tabulated. It was found that all 3 brands can safely be used longer than advertised. The Burnett and IPAS syringes lasted substantially longer than the Rocket syringes. Durability was not affected by the type of soap used in cleaning. All 3 disinfectants used performed poorly. Even though 1/4-l/3 of the cannulae tested showed positive cultures, no cases of infection were reported in the women in the study. Manufacturers should understand the MR kits will be used as long as possible in developing areas. Parts most likely to wear out should be easily replaceable. Preferably, procedures should be adopted to minimize wear on these parts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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