Medical Packaging – An Important Part of the Health Care Process

A very important part of the marketing and selling of drugs and medical devices is packaging. For pharmacies, hospitals and patients, packaging is of critical importance in terms of cost, business, and safety.

The field of medical packaging has come a long way in the last few decades, there are now many different ways devices and drugs are packaged. It’s critical that medical products are kept sterile and free of all deformities from the time of manufacturing until use, as the safety of health care professionals and patients depends on it. Packaging plays a key role in keeping medical devices and pharmaceuticals free from all impurities.

Disease Protection
If the packaging containing a medical product is comprised, the ingress of microorganisms can occur. When micro-organisms containment an object like a scalpel or dental drill, serious infection can occur. Such infections can sometimes be serious and can include: hepatitis C, hepatitis B, and HIV. The transmission of such blood-born pathogens can be prevented by ensuring the barrier between a medical device and the environment around it is not compromised until the device is ready to use.

Types and Materials There are a few common types of packaging for medical products. One of the most widespread is blister packaging. A blister pack contains a sheet with numerous plastic cavities which contain individual items. This type of packaging is particularly popular with small pills.

Another common packaging solution is individual-wrap. This type of packaging is common for sharp objects such as syringes. For more sensitive items, such as implants, multi-compartmental trays might be used which are often manufactured from a harder, more rigid material.

Additionally, for those products whose end-function requires the addition of water, a water soluble packaging might be ideal. Such a packaging type dissolves easily in water.

Finally, the kind of material the packaging will be made out of also must be chosen. The materials are often made out of medical polymer films which are comprised of different combinations of laminates. The most common types of laminates are; polyethylene-cellophane, polypropylene-cellophane-polyethylene, and polyethylene-polycarbonate.

Choosing the right kind of medical packaging is a critical part of ensuring the safety of everybody involved in the health care process. Without the right packaging, patients can be exposed to harmful infections and providers can become liable.

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