Is Disposable Bad News?

The media and eco-police have been going on now for some time that we live in a disposable society and, let us face it, we are certainly guilty of throwing things away to quickly. When it comes to medical supplies, however, disposable can also mean a lot safer for everyone concerned.

Autoclaves fulfill a vital role in medicine today and they are perfectly capable of killing off most organisms. In fact,there are few things that are able to survive in the high pressure and extremely hot environment. (If you thought you had a high pressure job, you have no idea.) For modern medicine, the autoclave was a very significant advance – after all, previously either disinfectant liquids or boiling was the only method. That said, there are some organisms that can survive the process – fortunately they are not commonly a problem. We are talking about things like Prions. The autoclave bags also allow tools to be stored safely until needed.

The real concern is that not all instruments can stand up to the autoclave process – some would simply melt. The overall size and shape of the instrument can also impact the effectiveness of the session. The skill of the operator also plays a part – what if the person operating the machine overloads it, or does not let it run long enough? Disposable instruments were developed in answer to these concerns. These instruments can be brought from your favorite medical supply company.

And it is this that could end up saving your from catching a life-threatening bacterial infection or a horrible virus. In terms of safety, something that is unused will always be more safe than something that has. To this day, we do not always understand how diseases are transmitted – why not be more cautious?

The basic tenets of good economic sense do way in here – the high cost of manufucturing a number of the high precision tools necessary for medicine today make it unviable to simply replace these between patients – a happy medium between the two needs to be sought.

We could look to the local tattoo parlors for ways to see this in action – tattoo machines now have disposable needles and a fresh set is inserted for each client. This has been proven to help prevent the spread of viral diseases like Hepatitis within that community. It is the perfect compromise between safety and cost efficiency.