Single-use or reusable instrument ?
Today, the reusable specification is again defined as strategic for purchasing criteria.
Therefore, it is necessary to consider the benefits of reusable and single-use solutions to get the right choice.
According to the laboratory consumable types, it is not always possible to have a reusable alternative.
Thus, everyone can easily identify the reusable alternative to a single-use plastic container, which would be an autoclavable glass bottle for example.
But for some applications, the issue is more complex and alternative less obvious.
Sterile stainless-steel instruments for single use: what is it about?
In the healthcare or for tissue collection, single use very often means plastic.
For applications which require precise gestures, cuts, or good instruments grip control, plastic can present some difficulties due to the flexibility of the material.
Therefore, it is possible to work with single-use stainless steel instruments.
A single-use stainless steel instrument: which benefits?
Contrary to a reusable instrument, the sterile single-use solution allows avoiding patient contamination.
Indeed, the sterilization step is critical for all instruments in direct contact with it. A partially decontaminated tool can be the root cause of an infection but also of a bad disease treatment.
Moreover, sterilization is a process that is not always managed on sites that use stainless steel forceps or scissors; this means that a technically complex and expensive process must be set up for the laboratory.
The laboratory workload is therefore reduced not only in terms of technical process but also concerning possible sterilization cycle traceability management. Indeed, the sterile single-use instrument is easy to trace thanks to the individual packaging of the instrument.
Using a single-use instrument means that it is new, i.e. that the cut quality is perfectly preserved, thus allowing good control of the procedure, which improves patient comfort.
The practical issue should not be forgotten: the instruments are ready to use, so it is impossible to be without sterile material. This makes it possible to manage emergencies, which are by nature impossible to predict, and to always have instruments ready for use in the best conditions.
In conclusion, the reusable alternative is the best solution when the there is a sterilization solution on the site, ready to manage all the administrative and technical aspects of this process.
It is also the ideal solution for sites using a lot of instruments (link to UU instrumentation).
For sites that do not have a sterilization system, or to manage emergencies without worrying, choosing a stainless-steel single-use sterile range can reduce the daily burden while ensuring effective patient care.