There are many things to consider when weighing the pros and cons of single-use medical devices. In this article, we’ll explain the basic differences between reusable and single-use equipment and dive deeper into the advantages of disposable medical equipment. Read on to discover a breakdown of single-use and reusable equipment in the biopharma industry.
Single-Use and Reusable Equipment Explained
Single-use and reusable equipment have the functions that you may expect: you can work with single-use items once before disposing of them, while you can use reusable equipment repeatedly. In many industries, including medical and biopharmaceutical, single-use equipment is gaining significant ground over reusable equipment.
In the medical field, the chief responsibility is to the patient—whichever option is safer for them is the better one. However, in biopharmaceuticals, which use sterile compounding filters, you are not interacting with a patient. Instead, the best option is the one that is the most efficient.
Single-Use Equipment Advantages
The advantages of single-use equipment are readily apparent—namely, the removal of the need for sterilization. Your facility must thoroughly clean and sterilize reusable equipment between uses. This process increases the required time between tests and demands more of an employee’s time. When you remove these factors from the equation, a facility can become much more efficient.
In addition, single-use items eliminate the risk of cross-contamination. Employees can make mistakes during the sterilization process of reusable equipment, but there is little chance of cross-contamination when each piece of equipment is brand new.
Single-Use Equipment Disadvantages
Single-use equipment is not perfect. This option increases the amount of waste produced by a facility and therefore increases the amount of effort you must exert in biomedical waste disposal. While this may not seem to be a large concern, the demands of managing waste can add up over time.
Now that you know the differences between single-use and reusable equipment in the biopharmaceutical industry, we hope you have a better understanding of which option will work better for you. While each option has its disadvantages, the benefits are quite substantial.