The Many Uses that Plastic has in the Medical Industry

When someone walks into their dentist’s office, a doctor’s office or even an emergency room, the expert will check your temperature, or look into your mouth using a brand new single-use piece of equipment.

When you go to the doctor with a fever, they will test your temperature using a new single-use plastic fever strip. When surgeons prepare for surgery, they will use sterile instruments that are packaged in plastic in order to protect the instrument from contamination, plus it will reduce the risk of infection. In the case of a natural disaster hitting, people that are in need of medical attention will be exposed to unsterile surroundings, which can cause infections. This is another reason why it is crucial that medical workers keep their medicines and instruments packaged for protection, as well as ease of transport.

PVC (Vinyl) is essential to patient and healthcare workers’ safety and this is why it has been used in the medical industry for well over 50 years. This is due to the fact that it has so many uses, some of which include making IV tubing, as well as the blood bags, plastic packaging, plastic medical containers and much more!

Modern healthcare would not be possible without the use of plastic materials, and the numerous critical medical items that people tend to take for granted are now being produced out of plastic, such as disposable syringes, heart valves, and intravenous blood bags. Plastics have made healthcare a lot more straightforward, as well as less painful. Plastic has also reduced the weight of many different tools and solutions, such as eyecare items, plus plastic serves as the critical component in modern day prosthetic devices.

By using plastic to produce certain medical items, it has reduced the cost of those medical items when purchasing, as well as manufacturing them, and the items have gotten lighter, plus they are much more biocompatible over other materials. The most widely used plastic material in medical applications is PVC, followed by PE, PP, PS and PET. All of these materials form the base of items such as catheters, slow-release pill casings, hearing implants, and prosthetics.

Before any medical plastic packaging is allowed to be sold, it first has to go through a number of vigorous tests to ensure that the item is safe, as well as suitable, for its intended application. These tests usually include physicochemical tests, biological reactivity tests, as well as certain tests for extractables. The aim of these tests is to determine whether or not the plastic will be safe to use on patients that have weakened immune systems.

Some of the plastic that exists will also undergo biocompatibility tests to test whether they will be possible irritants or could lead to cytotoxicity in the body. All medical equipment has to be sterile, as well as non-reactive for humans, and this goes for the plastic packaging as well. This ensures that the packaging is compliant with the international health standards and guide

John Driver

113 Blog posts