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Surgical Medical Tools and the Need For Their Sterilization

medical tools

Surgery is defined as a branch of medicine that is concerned with conditions that require operative procedures. During a surgical procedure, a proficient surgeon uses different medical tools to operate the body’s tissues and organs. Even though some surgical tools, like suturing needles and scalpels are used for most surgical procedures, others are more specialized and can be used only within a particular branch of surgery, such as neurosurgery or orthopedics. Here are some examples of medical tools used for surgical procedures:

Scalpels: This is a fine-edge cutting tool with a blade that enables the surgeon to exert maximum control when cutting tissues, and is used to help make incisions in the skin, or other body tissues. These tools are available in both disposable as well as stainless steel varieties, and in a variety of sizes. The scalpel is often used to make first incisions which opens up the body for surgery.

Scissors: These are used to cut tissues or other materials in the course of a medical surgery, and come in different types and sizes. All scissors are categorized as either blunt or sharp and curved or straight. Bigger scissors can be used to cut sutures and the heavy body tissues, whereas the smaller varieties are used to cut delicate materials.

Forceps: Surgeons use these tools during surgery to help manipulate or hold onto tissues and to clamp the blood vessels. Surgical forceps are the hinged tools, similar in design to the scissors, but with flat or tong-like tips. These tools come in three varieties: intestinal forceps, tissue/dressing forceps and hemostats (which are used to clamp the blood vessels). Like scissors, forceps can be categorized as either straight or curved.

Retractors: Surgical retractors are used to pull back, hold open, or even move tissues during a surgical procedure. The two types of retractors, hand-held and self-retaining, are normally used. While the self-retaining type of retractors locks into place, the hand-help type must be held in place by an assistant during surgery. The retractors’ design determines their function. Surgeons use rib spreaders, lung retractors and skin retractors among others.

Needle holders: These are hinged tools with a carbide insert at the tip to help prevent slipping. They are used to help hold the needle when suturing the body tissues, providing much more control compared to suturing by hand. Needle holders may or may not also have cutting blades used to cut thread.

Almost all of the above mentioned medical tools are reusable. But there is also a variety of surgical tools which are meant to be disposed of after use. These disposable tools for surgical procedures are normally made from plastic and rubber materials. Twin bone nasal catheter, protective surgical gloves, oxygen mask, nasal oxygen catheter, trachea’s tony tubes and suction catheter, are just examples of such tools.

The disposable surgical tools are normally already sterilized the moment they are bought in home and hospital medical tools stores. On the other hand, the reusable tools should always be sterilized and disinfected before and after use. Sterilization and disinfection of these tools is very essential because they will be operating vital body organs. Sterilizing medical tools ensures that the patients will not be at risk of any infections. Furthermore, correct care and maintenance of these reusable tools helps prolong their service lifespan, thus reducing the costs for repairs or replacement.

With regards to the disposable medical tools for surgical procedures, you should ensure that these tools are disposed of properly, since failure to do so will simply allow the microorganisms to spread out.

Hospital Devices

hospital devices

Monitoring, treatment as well as diagnosis of medical conditions is usually aided by the use of medical equipments and devices. Medical devices fall under a wide range, from diagnostic imaging equipments that are quite expensive, to the simple thermometer used at home, clinics and even at school. There are over 1.5 million different types of hospital devices. For effective rehabilitation, treatment and even prevention of diseases and illnesses, these medical devices are generally indispensable. For a variety of setting that they are commonly used, medical devices can be used by patients and also healthcare workers.

The main purpose of having medical devices is to assist medical practitioners in saving and prolonging life. For instance, for a successful surgery procedure, surgeons are required to use anesthetic and surgical instruments. When treating patients with cancer, doctors need radiotherapy units just as incubators are needed to warm those babies born prematurely. Besides saving life, these devices also help in improving the quality of life. Eyeglasses are used to improve the quality of vision. Prosthetic devices are also used in the compensation of a lost limb. In addition, the replacement of kidney function has been made possible by the use of haemodialysis machines.

Despite the huge variety of medical devices, most developing countries can still not access most of them. According to recent study, the access to computer tomography was found to be one in every 3.5 million people living in low-income nations. There is a major gap existing between the kind of hospital devices needed and their availability to the people of these countries. The problem is so great that some of these countries even lack the simple x-ray equipments or even pulse oximeter for the basic health intervention. Lack of adequate information as well as knowledge on the types of hospital devices that are normally needed for treatment of the prevailing diseases also contribute to the problem.

Using medical devices requires an authority to enforce regulations ensuring that all the medical devices are safe as well as working properly. Some of these low income countries lack such systems that are also responsible for implementation of the rules and regulation that protect the safety of both patients and practitioners. The setting at which these devices are to be used should also be considered as it would be inappropriate to provide them to a setting that has few or no trained staff. Since most of these devices are usually designed for the high income patients, providing these devices to low income countries requires you to take certain considerations. These include availability of human, financial as well as infrastructure resources.

Management of medical devices has proven to be a major problem to most countries due to lack of a designated unit responsible for management. This combined with the huge number of devices available contributes greatly to the complication of the procurement, prioritization and even selection of hospital devices. Most countries also lack recommendations, policies or national guidelines for the purpose of the procurement of hospital devices. This can be due to lack of recognized personnel to implement them. However, in most settings, national, regional or local requirements greatly contribute towards the selection of the appropriate medical devices and equipments.