Why we Need Disposable Medical Supplies

When it comes to infections spreading, there is nothing quite as scary – it sometimes seems that once an infection gets a proper foothold, it will grow and spread at an alarming rate. Disposable medical supplies were developed as an answer to helping prevent cross contamination.

Why was the need felt to develop a disposable range of supplies? In the medical industry, the most effective way to sterilize equipment is the use of an autoclave. In an autoclave, the tools are subjected to very high heat, steam and a high level of pressure in an attempt to kill of any living organisms still present. Just washing the tools was found to be ineffective and cleaning with rubbing alcohol is also not ideal. The autoclave is a little less than a 100% effective and has the added advantage that self-sealing bags can be used. This allows the tools to remain uncontaminated until the very last minute before use.

The problem is that 0,02% margin of error and that certain tools are not as effectively cleaned – the surface area and shape makes a difference here. Then, of course, not all tools can stand up to the process. Although the process is pretty good at killing off bacteria and viruses, prions are largely unaffected. As a result, for complete piece of mind, new tools need to be used for each new patient.

Disposable medical supplies fill this need – there is no possibility of cross contamination at all because the tool has never been used before. This is especially important for those that have less than perfect immune systems and those that would battle to fight off an infection.

Having some disposable supplies has made life a lot safer for all of us and reduced the cost of health care overall. We all know how easy it is to catch the flu and other airborne viruses from a co-worker. How much easier then would it be to catch a disease from someone of they had used the same syringe that we did?

Take the tattoo industry, for example, they use new needles for each new client in order to prevent the possibility of one client picking up a virus from another. Before this practice became common, there were some very real problems in terms of the spread of Hepatitis in tattoo parlors.