Medicine as it is practiced today is a lot different to how it was practiced a hundred years ago. Because of the advances made, we are more likely to recover from illness and our life spans have increased a lot. It can be said that a large part of the success is in the clamping down on infectious diseases and the transmission of these from patient to patient. A hundred years ago, there was a very good chance that you would due in hospital due a secondary infection. Fortunately today, this risk has been diminished because of the advent of disposable medical supplies.
These supplies were designed to be used only once and then discarded. Because they are relatively cheap, this is perfectly possible. They simply aren’t built to last and this is where money can be saved.
In most cases, this will mean cotton swabs, wipes, tissues, etc. Think of the number of cross-contaminations prevented by the advent of the tissue. Before, people had no choice but to use cotton handkerchiefs – providing a home for the very bacteria that they should be trying to get rid of. There are many such examples in the home environment.
For the purposes of disease reduction overall, the use of disposable medical supplies are important to take into consideration. Take, for example, the fact that doctors started to wear disposable surgical gloves – this not only prevents bacteria on their hands to spread to the patient but also means that the bacteria from one patient is not transmitted to the next. This is especially important in the case of contagious diseases and infections.
The usage doesn’t stop there though – think about it in your own home – you use cue tips, Band aids, dental floss, etc. Having these items disposable in nature makes it a lot simpler to ensure that you are able to stay clean and healthy overall.
It has also been a boon for healthcare workers who, by the nature of the work that they do, are under constant threat of picking up infections. Latex gloves, for example, allow them to keep a layer between themselves and others.
Companies have also become quite innovative when it comes to creating disposable products. At times, it is not possible to make an affordable disposable instrument. Take surgical scalpels, for example, these are expensive to produce. The money is saved by making the blades interchangeable and disposable – you simply use the blade once, and throw it out – the body of the scalpel is ready for use for the next procedure.