Plastic has long been demonized for creating a garbage problem that, until now, the human race is yet to solve. Ever since single-use plastic became a normal part of everyday life, industries have been churning out more practice than the world can handle. Many of those plastics end up in the ocean where marine animals mistake them for food.
However, plastic has also revolutionized a lot of sectors in society. It’s cheaper than other materials, making different items more affordable for regular people.
In healthcare, plastic is even saving lives. Here’s how.
Improving Medical Equipment
Plastic is better for healthcare equipment than other materials like glass or metal. For one thing, plastic items are a lot cheaper to produce which means they’re a more affordable option for everyone. They’re also lightweight and easy to carry around which makes it easier for patients to navigate different parts of the hospital.
Some notable examples of plastic medical devices include nasal tubes for oxygen administration, sterile bags that store organs during transport, gloves and masks worn by doctors, saline solution containers, and many others. In fact, there’s almost no part of a modern hospital where you won’t see plastic being used.
Making Surgical Instruments Stronger and Safer
A lot of surgical instruments are made from stainless steel because it’s a strong and durable material that doesn’t rust. However, stainless steel is still a metal which means it can be sharp. When used during surgery to cut or puncture the skin, even the slightest accident has the potential for serious consequences like infections.
The same goes for disposables made from glass or ceramics; they might be more aesthetically pleasing, but they’re not practical to use in an operating room where there are lots of moving parts that could break them easily.
But plastic surgical instruments are malleable while also being strong enough to withstand repeated use without breaking! Many modern procedures wouldn’t have been possible if surgeons didn’t have access to these tools which include devices like clamps, scalpels, and even entire devices like heart-lung machines!
Greater Safety in Healthcare Settings
Because plastic is inert, it doesn’t react with chemicals or other materials. This means that if an item made from plastic breaks during use, there’s no chance of the chemical contents leaking out and contaminating everything within reach! This is why you’ll see plastics used everywhere in hospitals—they aren’t just affordable but incredibly practical too.
Most intravenous (IV) tubes are made from plastics which means they don’t conduct electricity nor corrode easily when placed near electronics; this makes them much safer to use than glass or steel alternatives. If a nurse accidentally drops one onto the floor, they can rest assured knowing that there’s no risk of the glass shattering.
A lot of healthcare products contain plastics, not just medical equipment. Plastic bags aren’t just used to store food items anymore; their sturdy design makes them popular packaging material for sterile medical supplies too! For instance, you’ll see plastic protective wraps on surgical tools or inside saline solution containers. Their impermeable nature means instruments don’t have to be sterilized as often which speeds up the process so doctors can get back to work faster.
Plastic wrap is even used as packaging for syringes and ampules to ensure they stay sterile until right before use.
Plastic is also used to manufacture different components of items found in the hospital setting. The medical bed frame, on which patients lie down to rest, has plastic in it. These plastic components are supplied by plastic molding companies across the world.
In addition to medical devices, plastics are also used for disposables like gloves, masks, gowns, and protective eyewear. In an operating room, every person in the room needs to be protected from accidentally coming into contact with body fluids, but ensuring they’re not exposed to harmful chemicals is just as important!
These are just a few of the ways plastics make healthcare safer and more efficient; it all boils down to the fact that plastic doesn’t react with other materials and it’s strong enough to withstand repeated stress without breaking. The idea of using plastics in medication dates back to decades ago when soldiers had access to plastic bandages, but new technological advancements have led to better equipment being produced which means modern medicine has never been so advanced or practical.
Plastics are used in healthcare settings for a variety of reasons. They’re durable, safe to use, and don’t react to other materials which makes them practical for medical devices like IVs or protective equipment like gloves. Although there have been negative views on plastic in recent years, it’s a material that still has a very important role in modern life, including in healthcare.