This medical industry as a whole consists of units mainly engaged in manufacturing medical diagnosis and monitoring equipment, establishment of hospitals, health care sectors, production of medicines and medical products, the status of the health care industry etc. This industry is one of the world's largest and fastest-growing industries. Consuming over 10 percent of gross domestic product of most developed nations, this sector can form an enormous part of a country's economy.
Rubber products in Medical Industry
It is strange but true that rubber is such a commodity which finds its use in all aspects of life and various industries. The medical industry makes use of various rubber and rubber products. Starting from gloves to injection parts, to condoms to tubes to caps and stoppers, including wheels and casters fixed on hospital beds and trolleys, there are wide categories of products made of rubber, which are used in the medical and health care industry. The medical industry also make use of rubber rollers in medical chart recorders and medical imaging equipment. Latex rubber or natural rubber products constitute the largest sub-sector within the rubber industry used in medical sector. Medical devices of latex such as medical gloves, catheters, diaphragms have registered increases in demand. Since ancient times, liquid rubber is used in the making of medicines. Products made from natural rubber, engineering components and latex products which are used in the battle against AIDS and other disease are essential to modern life.
Medical Rubber Products
The medical industry is highly equipped with rubber products. The rubber products which are used in hospitals are wide and varied. Rubber is used to make various objects like surgical gloves, tubes, stoppers, condoms, breathing bags, cushioning or supporting materials, prosthetics, implants and catheters
Types of rubber used in making medical products
- Natural Rubber
- Butadiene Rubber (BR)
- Butyl Rubber (IIR)
- Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPM, EPDM)
- Fluoroelastomers (FKM)/Viton
- Isoprene Rubber (IR)
- Nitrile Rubber (NBR)
- Silicone Rubber (SiR)
- Styrene Butadiene Rubber
Types of Medical rubber products
Some popular medical rubber products are as follows:
- Rubber Caps/Tabs for Medical use: Rubber caps are specially designed for medical purposes. These are caps on T-piece as the main adjunct which provides pass and injection port for infusion and transfusion sets. They are made of natural rubber and polychloroprene rubber.
- Rubber Tubes for Infusion and Transfusion Set: This is a component of infusions sets, through which the medicine liquid can be added into the infusion canula. It is suitable for medicine liquid addition.
- Birth Control Products: Rubber is used to make various products which serve as effective birth control measures like condoms, diaphragms, and cervical caps.
- Surgical Gloves: Surgical gloves are made of various types of synthetic rubber as well as from the latex of natural rubber. These gloves are designed with some features which may not be available in normal glove. Such features are like ultra sensitivity, extra flexibility, maximum strength, greater protection, ambidextrous and can be sterilized.
- Rubber Medical Masks: Rubber is also used to make various kinds of masks used for medical purposes. The breathing mask also known as oxygen mask is manufactured using natural rubber and silicone rubber. Such masks are specially designed to provide a tight seal without leakage and are widely used by aviators, medical researchers and other patients that require administration of 100% oxygen.
- Rubber Catheters: Rubber is used to make medical catheters. A catheter is a flexible tube made of latex or silicone and can be inserted into the body creating a way for the passage of fluid or the entry of a medical device. Compared to latex or natural rubber catheter, silicone rubber catheters are believed to be superior as silicone is more bio compatible, causes less cell death, and more resistant to bacterial colonization.
- Rubber Bulb Syringe: It is syringe with a hollow rubber bulb and a cannula. The rubber bulb and the cannulla are provided with a check valve. The syringe is used on infants.
- Rubber bladders: A bladder is a device made of rubber that can be used for a containing a substance. In medical industry, this is the most common product used in blood pressure monitor units. A typical blood pressure monitor features a neoprene or rubber pump bulb or a rubber bladder that a medical expert squeezes to build air pressure in the system.