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3 Uses of Rubber in the Medical Field

It’s safe to say that the medical field wouldn’t be nearly the same without the support of rubber products. According to an abstract from Science Direct, the medical industry relies on multiple biological, synthetic, and hybrid polymers for myriad medical applications. Like aerospace applications, rubber components used in the medical field can differentiate between successful use and catastrophic failure.

Medical product developers, designers, engineers, and managers continually search for the best materials to ensure the safety and longevity of a product. Time and again, they rely on high-quality elastomers for multiple functions. Rubber products, and o-rings in particular, are a vital component in some of the most critical medical applications, demonstrating resilience to chemicals, sterilizers and pressure, and flexibility and strength. Since o-rings are frequently used to halt a liquid or gas from escaping and sealing it in place by blocking the path, medical product developers must have unwavering confidence in these components.

Here are three common ways the medical field relies on rubber every day.

1. Catheters

Catheters play a crucial role in the daily life of a medical practitioner working to ease discomfort for patients. According to WebMD, a catheter is a thin rubber tube that a nurse or other medical professional might use to put liquids in or take liquids out of the body. There are two types of catheters used in the medical industry. The first catheter is used for patients who have difficulty urinating or can’t control when they need to urinate. In such cases, a medical professional will insert a urinary catheter that goes into the bladder to rid the body of urine. The second type of catheter is an intravenous catheter, which is used to administer blood or medicine through a needle inserted into a patient’s vein. You can imagine why an o-ring is necessary to stop, slow, or otherwise control the flow of liquids in these devices.

2. Pacemakers

Pacemakers are small instruments encased in a safe and flexible polyurethane rubber material used to help heart patients, controlling heartbeats and ensuring the heart beats more regularly. It works by sending electrical pulses, via a pulse generator, to the heart through a valve to help regulate the heart’s beat. Inserting a pacemaker requires surgery since the device needs to go under the skin of the chest, notes the Mayo Clinic.

3. Drug Delivery Systems

Health professionals must properly administer a huge variety of drugs to multiple patients daily, so they need medical tools to ensure accuracy. They work under the real stress that an improper dose might mean the difference between a patient’s life or death. Drug delivery devices help provide that accuracy. The devices are made with high-quality use o-rings to create a vacuum seal that makes it easier to administer medications properly.

The Medical Field Relies Heavily on Rubber Products 

The uses of rubber listed here are vital, helping to ensure the survival and recovery of patients in extreme situations. Providing relief for patients in distress with a catheter, calibrating the heart’s beats, and ensuring an accurate medication dosage are all essential ways that the medical field relies on rubber products.

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