Medical Packaging and You

Health & FitnessMedicine

  • Author Mark Gaston
  • Published December 7, 2012
  • Word count 430

When it comes to products and tools in general -- the level of sterility, precision, and quality you’ll find in a hospital is virtually unparalleled. This is hardly surprising.

Healthcare is one of the most important facets of our lives. Where would we be without it? From open heart surgery to basic modern medicine, the healthcare industry has made the impossible possible, and preserved life where it might never have a chance. But to meet the very unique requirements of modern medicine, a wide variety of products and technologies have been developed to package, protect, and deliver the many life saving tools that are used today.

To regulate these products, a number of standards have been developed to make sure that when health care is involved, production standards are held to a particularly high standard. For example, the EN868 and ISO 11607 standards –both come together to ensure that sterilized plastic packaging used everywhere from operating rooms to doctor’s offices are held to very specific quality standards regulating their production, packaging, quality control and more.

The prevalence of these standards highlights the monumental importance of medical packaging. Think about it, without effective medical packaging – how would the pace makers, the syringes, the scalpels, tongue depressors, and thermometers be delivered safely and hygienically?

When surgeons are performing any sort of procedure, they frequently must rely on the many tools that come with the job – whether they are installing a new set of lungs or removing a tumor.

In both cases, any sort of contamination could mean the difference between a successful procedure and a serious infection. This is why so many standards are in place to ensure that medical packaging is safe and effective. At the same time, design is also of major importance. Imagine a medical tool or device is requested by a doctor in sealed packaging, only to end up being impossible to open. Not only does this present a challenge in a time-sensitive environment, but it also risks damaging the medical equipment.

Apart from medical devices and instruments, medical packaging is also vital for pharmaceuticals – especially when it comes to unit dose packaging used everywhere from hospitals and doctor’s offices to the nurse’s office in your local school. Apart from medical devices and instruments, medical packaging is used in this way to also ensure sterility and accurate doses of medication all the time.

So next time you visit the doctor or the hospital and rely on medical instruments or tools to get well, think about what got those tools to your bedside safely and effectively.

Mark Gaston frequently writes about science, technology, and many of the technologies we often tend to overlook. Recently, he's written about medical packaging and how it affects us every day.

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