When we speak of disposable material we refer to products designed for a single use after which it is recycled or disposed of as solid waste. Examples include syringes, gauze and bandages, mouth covers, surgical gowns, gloves, urethral catheters, surgical sponges, among others.
The market for disposable medical products in the United States accounted for approximately 70% of the market for disposable medical products in North America in 2011. In the same year, North America had more than 35% in the global market for disposable medical products. Asia Pacific is also expected to experience strong growth due to growing awareness among consumers about healthcare. Some of the other aspects that are likely to increase the demand for disposable medical products in Asia Pacific are the aging of the population, the increase in disposable income and the increase in government expenditures in the health sector.
The increases in medical facilities for the treatment of the emerging geriatric population in the first world countries is the main factor that allowed the expansion of the world market of disposable medical products. Some of the other factors that influence the expansion of the market are the growing awareness among consumers about the benefits of infection control, which basically include a better quality of life and a minimal expenditure of related medical care.
GPC Medical manufactures medical disposables that are used effectively and efficiently by health professionals in a large number of hospitals. GPC Medical offers a wide range of high quality disposable medical products at unbeatable prices in the market.
Medical disposables often involve low price and short-term convenience rather than medium or long-term durability. However, the most important factor in the design of disposable products is not only the cost, single-use medical devices require an adequate balance between performance, cost, reliability, and useful life.
Plastics are often used in the manufacture of disposables because they can be purchased at affordable prices and also have a wide variety of derivatives that can be used in the manufacture of a wide variety of materials useful in the medical industry; for example in the elaboration of a device such as a syringe that must be subjected to extreme pressure, polycarbonates are used due to their resistance. PVC can also be used due to its flexibility. On the other hand, the reusable devices are made of more expensive and resistant materials, such as ceramics or steel.
The assembly of the disposable device depends mainly on injection molded plastic, assembly by bonding, gluing, ultrasonic welding or radiofrequency welding. The high volume of production of single-use devices requires an automated assembly in clean rooms to minimize human contact.
Unlike reusable devices, which are often sterilized in the sanitary facility, the disposable devices are sterilized at the place of manufacture. The device and packaging must be designed to adapt to sterilization.
One of the main reasons for the use of disposable medical material is the control of the infection, to be used only once cannot transmit contaminants to subsequent patients.
The companies that are in charge of the elaboration and distribution of medical material must comply with numerous rules and regulations. One of the guidelines implies that single-use instruments must be classified as such in their packages with the universally recognized symbol to indicate “one-time use”; this symbol is number 2, enclosed within a circle with a 45 degree line through it.
The reuse of disposable medical devices has been a practice popularized in recent years in US hospitals, since it allows reducing medical waste costs. However, it is imperative that before medical devices can be reprocessed and reused, external or hospital reprocessors meet the same requirements that apply to OEMs, in accordance with FDA regulations.