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The Revolutionary Impact of Plastic in Hospitals

Posted on 21st July 2017 Plastic History Bed in hospital ward

Everywhere you look in a hospital, you will see the impact that plastic has made. Plastic is used in surgical implements and sterile packaging. The frame of the hospital bed that a patient sleeps in is plastic – so is the crib in which hospital-born babies are put to bed at night. Even the curtains that offer a little privacy on the ward are made of plastic. Let’s take a look at some of these in a little more detail.


Sterile Surgical Implements


It is paramount that a surgical theatre be as sterile an environment as possible. One way of ensuring that the tools that are to be used in surgery remain sterile is to seal them in plastic immediately after sterilisation. The plastic acts as a layer of protection – ensuring that no harmful germs can get to the blade of a scalpel that will subsequently be used to cut into a patient.


Hospital Beds


The hospital bed has undergone a lot of evolution in design over the last century. The latest generation are sturdy enough to support a heavy patient, yet lightweight and manoeuvrable enough for a porter to wheel them down the corridor. This combination of strength and manoeuvrability is made possible by its plastic frame – which is also easy to keep clean.


Babies’ Cribs


If you have ever visited (or delivered) a new-born in hospital, then you will be familiar with the transparent plastic cribs that they sleep in until they are deemed well enough to leave the hospital. The Norfolk and Norwich NHS hospital that serves the county where our factory is located uses the Bristol Maid cribs that are manufactured from clear (PETG) plastic. The transparency allows the neonate to see out (and the parents and visitors to see in). The plastic crib can be removed from its trolley for easy cleaning.


These simple innovations have saved lives (in the case of sterile packaging) and made life a lot more comfortable (in the case of beds and cribs). Patients in hospital have good reason to be thankful for the way plastic has been used in hospitals.


Perhaps you have a simple invention that could revolutionise patient care in hospitals. We have over thirty-five years of experience designing and manufacturing plastic products for the medical industry, so you can rely on our expertise to bring your idea to reality. Call us on +44 1692 501020 for more information.


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