While in the medical field, reusable medical devices are very popular, the field has slowly come to realize that though it saves them from generating excessive waste and in some cases ensures they have them on hand at all times, it brings a lot of risks within the use of reusable medical devices. Here you can find listed some of the most common yet dangerous risks of using reusable medical devices:
1. Infection: one of the primary risks associated with reusable medical devices is the transmission of infections from one patient to another. This can occur if the device is not properly cleaned and sterilized between uses.
Medical devices can come into contact with various bodily fluids during use, including blood, saliva, and other bodily secretions, which can contain bacteria or other pathogens. If the device is not cleaned and sterilized effectively, these pathogens can remain on the device and potentially be transmitted to the next patient who uses it. This is why it is highly recommended to use disposable medical devices to perform certain procedures or tests.
2. Device failure: reusable devices can fail during use, which can lead to injury or death. These devices are designed to be used multiple times, which means that they are subjected to wear and tear, which can eventually lead to failure.
The consequences of device failure can be serious, ranging from minor inconvenience to severe injury or death. Disposable medical devices are designed to be used a single time. That doesn’t mean it can’t fail, but the possibilities are reduced considerably.
3. Improper cleaning or sterilization: improper cleaning or sterilization of reusable medical devices can pose a serious risk to patient safety. If the device is not properly cleaned and sterilized, it can harbor bacteria, viruses, or other pathogens that can cause infection or illness in the patient who uses it next.
Proper cleaning and sterilization of reusable medical devices are critical to preventing the transmission of infections. The specific cleaning and sterilization procedures will vary depending on the type of device, its intended use, and the manufacturer's instructions. Erasing completely the risk of cross-contamination when working with non-disposable medical tools is possible! Using single-use medical devices gets rid of the headache of side effects.
4. Material degradation: this is a potential risk associated with the use of reusable medical devices. Over time, repeated use and exposure to cleaning and sterilization agents can cause materials to degrade, which can compromise the safety and efficacy of the device.
Material degradation can occur in a number of ways. For example, repeated exposure to heat or chemicals can cause plastics to become brittle or crack and can cause metal surfaces to corrode or degrade. This can lead to a range of potential problems, such as device failure, reduced effectiveness, or even injury to the patient. Material degradation on a single-use medical tool is technically impossible since they were designed to be used only on one patient.
5. Incomplete sterilization: incomplete sterilization can occur for a variety of reasons. For example, if the device is not properly cleaned before sterilization, it may still have residual contaminants that can interfere with the sterilization process. Similarly, if the sterilization process is not conducted properly or the sterilization equipment is not functioning correctly, the device may not be fully sterilized. This can lead to infection or illness in the patient.
We know there are some medical tools that simply cannot be replaced for single-use ones, but, having in mind disposable medical devices for minor procedures such as our disposable NAD Pinwheel to perform nerve damage diagnosis, is always a good idea. You’ll save your medical practice from dealing with sterilization processes or the trouble of dealing with recurring patients with side effects. Find the best device for your practice here.