Single-use medical devices are common pieces of equipment in many healthcare facilities. Your family GP will have a range of such devices, from medical swabs for taking samples to surgical gloves to enable thorough examinations to take place in a sterile and safe manner. In hospitals, there may be a greater range of such single-use medical devices, especially in the field of surgery, where equipment used in gynecology and the ENT departments is often single-use in construction. Clearly, there are certain pros and cons to using such medical devices.
This article explains three of the pros and cons of using a range of single-use medical devices in a healthcare setting.
No need to sterilize equipment
Single-use medical equipment is characterized by the fact that once it has been used on a patient, it is immediately discarded. Generally, this will be in specific medical waste bags that are securely disposed of to limit any risk of contamination. As a result of this, there is no need to sterilize the equipment after use. Some sterilization procedures may involve the use of potentially hazardous chemicals in order to clean the equipment and be assured that it is free of bacteria and other substances. Some such chemicals may be hazardous to human health, such as mercury and other potentially carcinogenic cleaning fluids. If a healthcare provider uses single-use devices for a range of patient assessments, treatments, and interventions, they may have little need for chemical cleaning of equipment or the need to purchase expensive autoclaving machinery.
As no chemical cleaning is required for single-use medical devices such as those offered to the healthcare industry by companies like medical-supermarket.com, the healthcare provider can be seen to operate in a more environmentally friendly manner. In addition to this fact, there is a growing range of single-use medical devices that are 100% recyclable. In the environmentally conscious world of 2022, all organizations must be seen to be operating in an environmentally responsible manner, and by purchasing items that are completely recyclable, a healthcare provider is demonstrating its commitment to operating in an environmentally friendly way that helps to protect the planet for future generations.
Improved patient safety
While autoclaving devices are recognized as providing an effective method of sanitizing medical devices and equipment, smaller medical facilities may not have access to such machinery. They may not have the space or the budget for such devices and may have to rely on manual cleaning of equipment after it has been used on a patient. This method of cleaning may not be guaranteed to remove all bacteria and substances from the equipment and therefore could pose a direct risk to patient health due to the risk of cross-contamination if inadequate cleaning has taken place. This potentially could result in a patient becoming seriously ill after acquiring an infection or virus from the medical equipment. Modern single-use products used in the medical industry are often sealed in an airtight environment and come with the assurance of being completely free of any extraneous contaminants.