Disposable and Non-Disposable Medical Supplies

Medical Supplies

Once upon a time, someone with a chronic medical condition or serious acute condition would have to stay in hospital until they had healed. There were very few medical supplies available that would keep people comfortable and safe in their own property. Today, however, there is an increased focus on enabling people to stay in their own home, and this has given rise to online medical supplies stores as well. It is very important, however, that you understand the difference between the various medical supplies that exist, so that you purchase the right supplies, and use them properly as well.

Disposable Medical Supplies

Firstly, there are so-called “disposable” tools. This means that you use them once, and then you throw them away. Because they are medical supplies, they may not all be suitable for the regular trash can. For instance, sharps, which are things that have the ability to break, puncture, or poke the skin, have to be placed in a sharps container. A sharps container, by contrast, is not a disposable item. It can also be purchased online, and must be properly labeled as being “medical waste”.

Some people continue to reuse disposable items. This happens, for instance, when they cannot afford to purchase new ones. It is very important, however, that these items are properly sanitized and sterilized, or they can cause a variety of infections.

There are also disposable supplies that really can only be used once. For instance, meal replacement bars, protein shakes, and nutritional supplements are classed as disposable medical supplies, because they can truly only be used ones. It is possible to get some of these supplies in sizes that are bigger than a single dose, but each dose has to be used in full. Because this sometimes go wrong, manufacturers now prefer to sell single serving sizes, although it is possible to purchase a box with multiple single serving sizes.

Some disposable medical supplies are classed as clothing. Items such as incontinence pads or HazMat suits, which can be worn and then have to be thrown away.

Non-Disposable Medical Supplies

Then, there are the non-disposable medical supplies, which are fully reusable. This includes, for instance, compression socks, special items, and products that protect the skin from various forms of damage. Non-disposable supplies can be cleaned and washed, after which they can be used again. Generally, they can last anything from a few months to several years.

Non-disposable medical supplies also include types of clothing. The sling, for instance, or the leg brace, can be worn over and over again.

Another thing you have to take into consideration is whether you want to buy or rent your medical supplies. Generally speaking, disposable supplies can only be purchased, because you cannot return them. With non-disposable supplies, however, there are examples in which renting the equipment is possible. For instance, if someone only needs crutches for a few weeks while their leg heals, they could decide to rent the crutches and then return them to the store when they are fit again.