The Technicalities and uses of Medical Instruments

Medical instruments are specially designed tools used in in-patient and out-patient settings for various medical procedures. Procedures could range from single blood extractions to major surgeries like a caesarian section. Medical instruments need to be made from high grade material that is internationally standardized and must follow very strict guidelines and regulations. The end product must meet very high-quality standards and hence not many companies exist that deal with the manufacturing process of these instruments.

What are these instruments made up of?

The material involved in making medical instruments depends on the kind of function they have, their re-usability, viability etc. The most common material is steel which with the additional property of not corroding. This is done by adding metals like Nickel and Chromium which have highly resistant properties. This steel is used for making scalpels, scissors, retractors, needles etc. Another commonly used material is high quality plastic, quite frequently employed in the manufacture of catheters, IV lines, NG tubes etc. Endoscopic cameras, cautery, oximeters etc. also have various electrical components involved.

How to clean?

Since these instruments frequently come in contact with sick patients and other pathogens that are in the environment, they need to be thoroughly cleaned and sterilized to prevent spread of potentially fatal infections and other comorbidities. Various processes like heating, boiling, autoclaving, chemical treatment (Ethylene gas, Hydrogen peroxide gas etc.), UV radiations are used to get a safe instrument. Those instruments which are for one-time use, are often incinerated.

What are the commonly used medical instruments?

The most frequently used instruments are scalpels for cutting and making incisions, retractors for pulling back skin and tissue, clamps for stopping blood flow, catheters for draining urine, IV cannulas for administering fluids, medicines etc. intravenous needles for making stitches, syringes for extracting blood and other fluids.

The list of instruments is endless and the truth is that efficient medical care is impossible today without them.