A medical instrument
is any tool, apparatus, appliance, material, used alone or in
combination with other such items meant to be used on humans for the
- Diagnosis, prevention, monitoring, treatment, or alleviation of disease;
- Diagnosis, monitoring, treatment, alleviation of an injury or handicap;
- Investigation, replacement, or modification of the anatomy or of a physiological process;
Medical instruments may be classified based on their uses such as
Anaesthesia instrument (use to induce controlled unconsciousness e.g.
Anaesthetic Endotracheal Tube), Cardiovascular Instrument (used for
procedures performed on the heart e.g Artery Forceps), Dental
Instrument (used in dental surgeries e.g. Bone Chisel, Dental
Types of Medical Instruments
Aside from surgical uses medical instruments play a big role in
diagnoses of a myriad abnormal medical conditions. Medical instruments are often used in conjunction with different antiseptic agents such as cresol
, chlorhexidine gluconate
, sodium hypochlorite
, etc. to ensure higiene and prevention from infections.
are numerous medical instruments that medics make use of. Some basic
types of these devices are outlined below.
A large array of instruments aid medical anaesthesia. Anaesthetic
machine is the basic equipment needed to trigger anesthesia. Also, the
pipeline (Endotracheal tube) supplying necessary medical gases viz.
nitrous oxide, oxygen and air, needs to be in perfect shape and firmly
secured to the machine to make it effective. In addition there are a
number of assisting devices, which are critical for inducing and
maintaining safe and effective anaesthesia. Some of these instruments
include Oxygen masks, Laryngeal mask airways (LMA), Endotracheal tubes,
Laryngoscopes, Tracheotomy tubes, Endoscopes, etc.
Arthroscopy refers to a minimally invasive surgery which entails an
examination and sometimes coupled with treatment of damage of a joint.
Arthroscope, an endoscope used to perform surgery, is a basic
instrument for the procedure and is inserted into the joint through a
small incision. Common arthroscopic procedures are needed to evaluate
and treat several joint disorders including torn floating cartilage,
torn surface cartilage, trimming damaged cartilage, etc. Several other arthroscopy instruments
used for the purpose are Punches, Grasping Forceps, Scissors, Hook Scissors, etc.
Dental instruments are tools and apparatus used by dental professionals
to provide dental treatment and care. Before they operate, dentists often numb the area by injecting anesthetics using disposable syringe
. Dental instruments are classified
depending upon the function they help perform and include devices to
examine, manipulate, restore and remove teeth from the mouth. For
instance, examination instruments viz. Mouth mirror, Periodontal probe,
straight probe help to manipulate oral tissues and provide a better
view of the mouth to the surgeon. Different types of retractors include
Mouth prop, dental mirror, cheek retractor, tongue retractor, lip
retractor. Some common restorative instruments are spoon excavator,
flat plastic, ball burnisher, Amalgam plugger, Universal curettes, etc.
Laparoscopic surgery, is a surgical technique in which surgical
procedures of the abdomen are performed through small incisions rather
than through large incisions needed in traditional surgical procedures.
Many different types of laproscopy instruments
are used in key-hole surgery such as Dissecting Forceps, Laproscopy,
Tooth Cup Forceps, monopolar handle, multifunction handle, needlenose
Surgical instruments are tools or devices specifically constructed to
achieve different effects during a medical surgery. Some of these
effects may include modifying biological tissue, accessing it, cutting,
sewing or removing it. Surgeons are further aided by many other devices such as safety syringe
in performing different operations. Overtime, many different kinds of surgical
instruments and tools have been invented. Surgical instruments may be
designed either for general use of for performing specific procedure or
surgery. The names of surgical instruments are often derived from the
functions they perform e.g. scalpel, or be named after their inventor
e.g. Kocher forceps, etc. Some frequently used surgical instruments are
Graspers & tweezers used for plucking eyebrows; suction tips and
tubes help in the removal of bodily fluids; powered drills assist in
boring holes in the bones; also used are clamps and occluders for
holding blood vessels or other organs, and surgical boxes
help store and protect essential tools needed for surgery.
Buying Tips for Medical Instruments
The quality of medical instruments determines how effective and safe
these products are and this in turn affects the quality of medical
service rendered by a hospital. The importance of the quality medical
instruments can’t be overstated. The following tips would help you to
procure quality medical instruments and supplies, as well as other hospital equipment such as blood bank refrigerator
, BOD refrigerator
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. For example medical furniture items such as hospital stool
5.Check for signs of a removed or switched product label. This is especially true for consumables such as medical tape
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 products such as scissors
, scalpels, forceps, knives
Aging population, better health care due to rapid advancements in the medical industry and longer life expectancies are some critical drivers of the medical instrument and device industry.
In the US the annual industry production in the sector has exceeded US
$70 billion, since 2002 and has witnessed about 6 percent annual growth
rate. Other estimates put the production value of the medical device
industry in the US to $82.4 billion in 2004. A large and sophisticated
health care system in the US also makes it the largest single country
consumer of medical equipment supplies. The US market's value in 2005
was US $80 billion.
The countries of Western Europe make up for another large market of
medical instruments and devices, representing a total market of more
than 403 million people and an aggregate GDP of US$18.1 trillion in
2008. Germany, with a market share of about 7% is the third largest
medical device market in the world. France ranks fourth and the UK's
market has been valued at approximately, US $9.9 billion.