The versatility of foam and the growing number of applications where it can be used in the industrial setting is gaining a lot of popularity these days. Aside from being commonly utilized for industrial foam insulation and industrial foam padding, it has also found its way to hospital environments. Foams have special properties and unique characteristics, making them one of the most ideal materials in healthcare settings.
Nowadays, medical foam products have become staples in the medical industry for a number of reasons:
- Easy to sterilize; can withstand high sterilization temperatures
- Low density
- High level of absorption; can absorb up to 30 times their weight
- Available in different grades to suit different uses
- Fire retardant
- Some grades are non-permeable to liquids and air; stays dry and contaminant free
Practical Applications of Medical Foam Products
The most common use of medical foams in the hospital is for the reduction of discomfort and prevention of bed sores. They are used to provide a comfortable cushion for patients who can’t move and have to be in lying position for a long period of time. Traditional materials do not alleviate the problems and only likely to increase discomfort. However, the use of foam as cushions is just but one of its many effective applications. For medical or dental purposes, medical foam products can be used as:
- Wound Therapy Foam
Foams can be customized to aid in Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) which is a healing technique for chronic wounds, infection, and burns.
- Orthopedic Foam
Orthopedic foams are used as padding and cushion for splints, casts, and orthoses. They conform naturally to the human body which aids in faster healing and recuperation.
- Medical Blood Oxygenator Defoamers
Generally, bubbles form in the blood oxygenator during a blood transfer process. This poses serious risks for patients. Blood oxygenator defoamers are responsible for keeping the air bubbles out of blood during oxygenation before it is transferred to the patient.
- Foams are also used for hospital’s non-skid surfaces
- Medical foams are frequently used as swabs, dressings, and lint free wipes
- Foam Cervical Collars
Foam cervical collars are cost-efficient and highly comfortable solutions for the treatment of cervical injuries. They are washable as well.
- Foam Walking Boots
Foam walking boots provide the necessary cushion and support for faster fracture healing. Customized, lightweight, and durable – foam walking boots effectively support the limb while, at the same time, provides the necessary protection and utmost comfort of the patient.
- Foam Coated Grounding and EKG Pads
Skin adhesives, Grounding and EKG pads can be coated on foams to provide bond strength tack and gentle release or removal.
Medical foams are versatile, cost-efficient, and quick to sterilize. These are the main reasons why they are part of many innovative inventions in the medical industry. Foams are capable of handling various challenges that are normally encountered in a critical medical or health care environment and they are definitely here to stay.
Thus, it goes without saying, medical foam products are a sound investment!
- License: Royalty Free or iStock source: www.kristofoam.com
Katya likes to discuss the various forms of foam packaging products for the medical industry.