Yo, so in an apocalyptic setting (in this case, zombies - the zombocalypse) how soon would a hospital's medical supplies and etc. become useless or whatever the case? Also, how easy is it to find an influenza mask in everyday buildings, can you just find one in any first aid kit or the such? Sorry if this is a little weird, I've googled it but haven't had much luck :( thanks!
Hey! So, this is interesting. Basically everything in medicine has an expiration date on it, from a month or two to a few years. But that doesn’t mean things won’t still be useful!
For example, packaged gauze is basically good indefinitely unless it gets wet. Scalpels won’t stop being sharp just because of a date printed on a package. (Yes, there are disposable scalpels, they’re in every ER I know.)
Some medications won’t be terribly effective, but most will still be good for at least a couple years past their expiration; in fact, most drug donation programs from first-world countries to developing nations are in the form of recently-expired drugs. Very few things deteriorate into lethal byproducts, it’s just that a certain amount of the active medication may destabilize in the bottle.
So yeah, most of the stuff will be useful for at least 10 years (barring something like a flood), whereas the drugs will vary individually. But all are worth trying, at least to that 10 year mark. In your stories.
In real life, dispose of expired medication. Hope this was handyful!