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What's It Made Of?

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Technology in the Surgical Space: Materials

Coating, casing, noble metals—what goes into a piece of surgical equipment? The makeup of an instrument is reflected not only in price, but also in functionality and durability. This article from World Precision Instruments describes features of a handful of custom alloys. Through this list you can see how any alloy created is engineered for a specific use, so features can differ drastically between products.

How long do these materials last? This Brazilian study investigates the corrosion of metals in surgical instruments. Based on the findings of this study, researchers’ claim the lifespan of an instrument to be about ten years, but this depends on important care factors:

  • Use as directed: “Each instrument is designed to work according to a specific function.”
  • Sterilize according to three infection categories: critical, semi-critical and noncritical
  • Shop for Quality, not Price: “It is essential that every hospital has a strict policy of quality surgical instruments, because any possibility of contamination can lead to serious consequences for both patients and for doctors.”

Being an informed consumer means not only thinking about the price of an instrument, but the cost it incurs for your practice. If patient safety is on the line, investigate the standards of a potential manufacturer. Speaking with an expert in the manufacturing field can ensure the right outcomes and a long lifespan from any instrument investment.