The North Carolina Department of Revenue (the "Department") recently issued a decision that determined ligators and anti-bleeding clips qualified as exempt prosthetic devices. A "prosthetic device" is a replacement, corrective, or supporting device worn on or in the body that does one of the following: (1) artificially replaces a missing portion of the body, (2) prevents or corrects a physical deformity or malfunction, or (3) supports a weak or deformed portion of the body.
The Department found that the devices provided support to a weak or deformed portion of the body and prevented or corrected a physical malfunction by stopping bleeding and preventing hemorrhaging during surgery. This function was the same or similar to staples, sutures, and suture alternatives.
Note that hemostasis catheters used to stop gastrointestinal bleeding did not qualify as prosthetic devices because they were not worn in or on the body.