Plastic has greatly revolutionized the medical world in recent years. Its flexibility and durability have led to advancements in many areas, including prosthetics, joint replacements, pacemakers, sterilization, and even childproofing medications with plastic locking mechanisms. Its ability to be recycled and re-used has also led to more eco-friendly hospital supplies. MRI machines, which are giant magnets attracting metal objects, have also been transformed so that they are now magnets surrounded by plastic, allowing for less problematic circumstance to arise. The beauty of all of these advancements is that they are even more affordable so that everyone has access to the technology.
Improving Standards with Plastic Hospital Supplies
Plastic is now being used to create a variety of medical devices that were at some point made with steel. The benefit of this is that plastic is lighter, flexible, and can be molded into much more intricate shapes, making the devices more adaptable. Hypo-allergenic plastics also last a lot longer than steel products which means patients don’t have to go through the extremely painful process of replacing parts. Pacemakers, artificial hips and knees, stents, prosthetic devices, and other instruments previously made using metal have all benefited in design, safety, comfort, and durability after shifting over to plastic. Because of the flexibility and intricacy plastic offers, many new devices that were previously thought to be impossible can also now be created.
The Potential of Antimicrobial Plastic
A new technology, still in the early stages, called antimicrobial plastic has been greatly helping to decrease infection all over the world. This special type of plastic actually kills bacteria on surfaces, even when the surfaced has been touched by many people and hasn’t been cleaned. Considering that surgeons use plastic gloves to keep surgeries sterile and many tools used during surgery are made from plastic, it will be interesting to see where the direction of antimicrobial plastic goes. Plastic plays a large part in keeping hospital supplies sterile. The use of plastic medical disposables have already drastically lowered the development of cross-staph infections.
Cutting Costs Without Cutting Quality
Plastic devices are far cheaper to produce than steel. Re-usable plastics are saving hospitals, patients, and shareholders a ton of money as they usually last longer than the single-use metal tools. Metal is a heavy material requiring large high volume output machinery. It often takes longer to produce an item using metal molding. Plastic molding is a lot faster, the material is cheaper, assembly is less complicated, and the items created can be a lot more complex. Plastic lasts longer than metal which saves on replacements. The ability to re-use and recycle plastic materials also means that the instruments are more eco-friendly and not harming the environment, unlike metal materials that are eventually disposed of in landfills.
New inventions in plastic occur every day and the promising field of medical plastic continues to help millions all over the world. The possibilities are only limited by the imagination and as this technology continues to grow, we’ll only find more reasons to appreciate the benefits that plastic delivers.