The bivalved vaginal specula have been a staple tool in medicine since as far back as the ancient Greeks. Physicians still relying on the old-school metal device might be surprised to learn that single-use is the more sensible approach, both financially and environmentally. Using a metal vaginal speculum slows down the process. Metal reusable specula are not made entirely of surgical steel. The nonmetal parts of the device can absorb harsh chemicals used in the cleaning processes, exposing patients to possible injury. When sterilizing procedures are not followed properly, there may be cross-contamination issues, as well.
Issues relating to disposable and reusable vaginal specula (2000)
The use of vaginal specula in improving infection control | Nursing Times
Inadequate reprocessing between patient uses can result in the retention of blood, tissue and other biological debris soil in certain types of reusable medical devices. This debris can allow microbes to survive the disinfection or sterilization process, which could then lead to Health care-Associated Infections HAIs. Inadequate reprocessing can also result in other adverse patient outcomes, such as tissue irritation from residual reprocessing materials, such as chemical disinfectants. Reducing the risk of exposure to improperly reprocessed medical devices is a shared responsibility among various stakeholders. This includes the FDA; health care facilities responsible for cleaning, sterilizing or disinfecting the devices; and manufacturers, responsible for providing adequate reprocessing instructions that are user-friendly and proven to work.
Dispensable medical instruments are enjoying increasing popularity among practitioners of various specialties. The primary advantages associated with dispensable vaginal specula include:. With multiple-use vaginal specula , the whole process entails the following steps:. Time necessary for the entire process depending on the number of patients — up to 1.
It is a fact kept secret from health care consumers, but readily accepted by medical professionals. Not every piece of equipment, even ones that comes in contact with patients, is subject to full sterilization procedures. Non-sterilization is an accepted standard of care in the U. Consider all the facts about non-sterilization practices presented in Fatal Probe. Locksley interviewed both consumers and healthcare professionals while researching his book.