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8 Tips For Purchasing Used Medical Equipment

24 March, 2013 | medical equipment

Great responsibility comes with purchasing used medical equipment, as it will be used to monitor, diagnose and treat patients and in some cases, to even save lives. Therefore, when purchasing used equipment it is crucial to be aware of the particular elements, specifications and common malfunctions of each medical device, beforehand.

Following are some basic tips that can assist you in the purchasing process of used or refurbished medical devices or equipment:

Suitability of the Equipment to your needs

Consider if the equipment will meet the needs for which it is being purchased. For example, in cases where there are both stationary and mobile models, consider which will best suit the needs, taking into account the advantages and disadvantages of each model.

Suitability of the Equipment to the Environment

Consider the space where the equipment will be used; choose the model which will best fit into this area and its surroundings. Take into account the size of the device and even the shape to make sure that it will fit into the space that is intended for it. For big devices it is highly recommended to measure the space and check the device dimensions in the specifications.

Condition of the Equipment

Once you have found the used medical device that you are interested in purchasing, examine its condition, both in terms of functionality and visual appearance. Make sure that it is functioning properly and that it has been well maintained. Download for free MedWOW’s buying guide, it is full of tips, recommended questions to ask the seller, and inspection forms for over 300 of the most common medical devices used in clinics, hospitals, labs, and other medical facilities.


Before operating any used medical device, make sure that the wires and cords are connected properly and that the screws are tight. Make sure that the electrical outlet, into which you are plugging the device, is grounded.

Age of the Equipment

When purchasing used devices, keep in mind that the equipment may be quite old. Make sure that the device has all the functions and features that you are looking for. In cases where the device outputs data, make sure that the interface and the output are both in formats that are still supported by today’s technology. An outdated interface and output may be inconvenient and expensive to support.

Compare Prices

For used equipment there may be some considerable variations in price even for the same device. It is recommended to compare prices and find the device that best meets your needs in terms of its price and condition. Also take into account the transportation costs. For large equipment the transportation costs may be quite high. Look at the bottom line; it may be more worthwhile to purchase the item for a higher price but in a closer geographical location than vice versa.

Operating the Medical Device

Make sure that the person that will be operating the medical device has the relevant training. Ask the current owners if they have the original operation and service manuals, and if they do not, try and obtain this information either from a different source or a person who is experienced and knowledgeable about the device’s operation and maintenance.

Preparation of Used Medical Equipment for its New Location

Once you have purchased the device and it has been placed in its new home, make sure to arrange the cords in a way that there is no tripping hazard. Sterilize the device, especially with regards to reusable equipment and equipment that has been in contact with patients who suffer from contagious diseases. It is recommended that the person performing the sterilization wear gloves, a mask and a gown, if it deems necessary.


Purchasing used medical equipment can be an excellent solution for a limited budget, but it is highly recommended to take the time to examine the device and make sure that it is suitable to your needs. Once a decision has been made to purchase the device, it is necessary to prepare the environment for it and make sure that there are qualified personnel for its operation. Finally, it is important to take the necessary safety precautions, to avoid hazards to both the patients and the people that will be operating the equipment.