Flexible packaging assists manufacturers in striking a crucial balance between longevity and usability. Syringes, swabs, and other objects must remain sterile until opened without posing a problem for the end-user, who is frequently under duress.
FREMONT, CA: Individuals and businesses across the supply chain have risen to the occasion, giving medical suppliers pause to consider the lessons learned and how to move the industry forward. One positive outcome has been a revival in the medical industry's recognition and appreciation of flexible packaging benefits. Three advantages of flexible packaging in the medical field include:
Suitable for Sterilization
Medical supply products should be delivered sterile even to be regarded for use, meaning that packaging design is just as crucial as product design. Flexible packaging has evolved over time to withstand Ethylene Oxide (ETO) and gamma radiation, two of the most common sterilization agents for medical supplies. The method of flushing ETO in the packaging and dragging it back out aligns well with flexible packaging's distinctive breathability. One does not need breathability for gamma sterilization, but they need materials that can pass through the process without becoming brittle or yellowed. Both of those boxes are checked by flexible packaging. For the products a business is packaging, compatibility with sterilization methods is also crucial. A pacemaker, for example, should not be sterilized with gamma radiation because it would kill the device's inner workings, while ETO is less stringent and more appropriate for the product.
Balances Safety and Practicality
Flexible packaging assists manufacturers in striking a crucial balance between longevity and usability. Syringes, swabs, and other objects must remain sterile until opened without posing a problem for the end-user, who is frequently under duress. Nurses and operating professionals should be able to open a device swiftly and easily once it arrives in the hospital, often while wearing gloves. When planning a clinical procedure, there is no room for error. Depending on whether the device is for an operating room, a clinic, or an ambulance, packaging can be opened differently.
Endures Rigorous Shipping
Medical supply packaging must accommodate a wide range of shapes and sizes, from 46-inch-long catheters to syringe barrels. Unlike other packaging types, flexible packaging can be customized to fit these specific requirements based on product design.
After the products are individually packaged for labeling and tracking purposes, they can be coupled with secondary packaging, like cases, to stabilize and resist shipping. Medical supply packaging must also account for device protection, abrasion resistance, puncture resistance, and seal strength to ensure that the product remains intact from manufacture to distribution.