Hospital equipment and supplies
refer to all devices and machinery designed to aid in the diagnosis,
monitoring or treatment of medical conditions. The design and
manufacture entails compliance with rigorous safety standards.
There are scores of medical equipments and supplies and are classified
under different heads. The following categories are a basic
classification for hospital equipments and supplies.
This category includes all devices
and supplies that assist in the diagnosis of abnormal medical
conditions. For instance ultrasound and MRI machines, PET and CT
scanners and x-ray machines all qualify as diagnostic equipment.
Equipments belonging to this
category are used for treating patients and include medical lasers,
infusion pumps and LASIK surgical machines, etc.
Life support equipment:
Mostly used during surgery or
when a patient's condition is considered serious, these equipments help
maintain a patient's bodily functions. Common examples include
heart-lung machines, medical ventilators dialysis machines, ECMO, etc.
Hospital Monitoring Equipment:
This set of equipment
allows medical staff to keep a tab on a patient's medical condition.
Monitoring equipment are often used to meassure a patient's vital signs
viz. ECG, EEG, blood pressure, etc.
Hospital laboratory equipment: Most medical diagnoses today rely upon
the use of samples of blood, urine, tissue, etc. collected from
patients and then are subjected to bio-chemical analysis. Laboratory
equipment aids these processs and sometimes automoates them to varying
Types of Hospital Equipment & Supplies
Though there are numerous items covered under the head Hospital Equipment & Supplies
, some common ones are described below.
Charles Chamberland is the person accredited with the invention of
autoclave in 1879. The name is used to refer to an industrial machine
which makes use of high temperature and pressure for processing
(sterlizating) materials. In the case of its medical application, these
devices achieve sterlization by means of creating a high temperature
and high pressure conditions within, to heat aqueous solutions above
their boiling point. Consequently, all bacteria, viruses, fungi and
spores are rendered futile. Aside from hospital use, autoclaves have
applications in sterilizing instruments for microbiology, body
piercing, dentistry, metallurgy, veterinary science and podiatry.
A refrigerator is a cooling equipment which comprises a thermally
insulated space inside it and is coupled with a mechanism to transfer
heat away from it to the external environment, thereby cooling the
contents within. Refrigerators are used in hospitals to prevent
medicines and other vulnerable supplies from spoilage caused by
bacterial growth and other processes that occur faster at higher
A suction unit for medical applications refers to a special system
comprising a pump for sucking off secretions. It comprises a collecting
reservoir for material to be sucked off and deposited in. These units
also house valve blocks to achieve an alternating connection of a pump
chamber through corresponding valves to produce of a vacuum in the pump
Hospital Rubber Products
Hospital rubber goods or medical rubber goods refer to all the
equipment and supplies such as medical gloves, surgical rubber goods,
bed sheets made out of rubber and meant for use in different medical
Hospital consumables are products and materials that get used up in the
process of carrying out medical activities. These consumables need to
be replaced and replenished frequently. Common items belonging to this
category entail antiseptics, bandages, cleaning supplies, medical tape,
sanitary products, surgical blades, etc.
Holloware for medical purposes refers to different kinds of hollow
vessels used for holding the by products of medical processes, medical
waste, etc. Common examples include baby trays, bedpans, catheter
trays, douche cans, dressing drums, hospital basins, etc.
The quality of hospital equipment and supplies determines how effective
and safe these products are and this in turn affects the quality of
medical service rendered by a hospital. For example a faulty suction unit
can almost wreck a surgery. The importance of the quality
hospital equipment and supplies can’t be overstated. The following tips
would help you to procure quality medical equipment and supplies.
1.Establish the integrity of the source prior placing the order.
2.Establish a list of approved suppliers.
3.Require that any alternative source of supply provides the following as a minimum:
a.A pedigree back to the previous source.
b.Certification that it is not a diverted product.
c.Certification that any actions by the alternative source will not alter any original manufacture warranties or guarantees.
d.Certification that the product has been stored and handled consistent with product labeling requirements.
4.Be wary if a product is being offered at an unusually cheap price.
5.Check for signs of a removed or switched product label.
6.Check for subtle changes in the product’s package (compare with
previously purchased products), notwithstanding legitimate parallel
7.Look for variations in the size of the container (compare with
previously purchased products), notwithstanding legitimate parallel
8.Look for differences in container length, diameters and shapes.
9.Examine for variations in the thickness of containers and for variations in container color tints.
10.Compare the physical characteristics of the product
The medical equipment and supplies industry is a large, competitive and strong sector of the health care industry
Back in 2002 itself the global market was valued at about US$ 180
billion. The medical equipment subsector of the industry comprises
technologically sophisticated products for use mostly by small
populations. Examples of these products include implantable
defibrillators, CAT scanners, MRI equipment, orthopedic devices. While
these products are mostly priced higher for smaller volumes, they face
the risk of competition and technological innovation.
On the other hand the hospital supplies market is dependent on larger
volumes but lower margins. Further, two trends that have unfolded over
the years include mergers and acquisitions of smaller companies by
industry giants. Another pertains to the growng need for automation of
many medical process, such as seen in the increasing demand for patient
The industry's growth in future will be fueled by growing requirements
of aging population with increasing life expectancies, consumers
demanding quality health care and ever growing investments in R&D.
By the year 2006, the global industry was worth US $196.65 billion.
While the industry as a whole is to grow at a decent rate, some
subsectors like those of implantable defibrillator, diabetes,
cardiology, pain management, orthopedics and oncology are
expected to supercede others in terms of revenues. The leading sectors
are expected to register revenues ranging from 10% to 13%.