For decades, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) has been used in a wide range of medical products. PVC's history of medical use began with replacing the heavy glass and metal packaging previously used to ship and store pharmaceutical products. Over the years, engineers have developed a number of healthcare applications for the material, now a staple in hospitals worldwide.
PVC has a variety of features that make it an ideal choice for medical applications. With the proper additives, PVC is able to withstand temperatures of up to 121 degrees Celsius (about 250 degrees Fahrenheit), which allows it to be sterilized using steam. PVC may also be sterilized by a variety of other methods such as by ethylene oxide or gamma radiation. One unique attribute of PVC is that it can be formulated with additives that give it antimicrobial properties. Once active ingredients, such as silver, are infused into the formula, the resulting product can resist harmful bacteria, mold, fungi and viruses by up to 99.99%.
Each day, medical workers use PVC products to assist them in treating their patients. Blood bags, masks, tubing, dialysis solutions, peristaltic pumps and more are made from PVC. The material's durability means it can stand up to the demands of hospital use by resisting scratches, tears, and cracks, all while maintaining its original shape. PVC's transparency allows medical workers to easily monitor delivery of medicine to the patient. In summary, PVC is one of the best medical materials in terms of cost and function.
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