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Is the packaging industry making things harder for health professionals?

Medical package opening is one of the daily challenges medical professionals have to face on a daily basis. Silly as it might sound opening certain packages as a health professional can have a massive impact on what they do.


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Most medical procedures require sterile tools and implements but sterile barriers are rather fragile and improper packaging manipulation could cause a disaster. Although the packaging industry and more specifically military grade packaging have been one of the most reliable allies of the medical industry since World War II, thereÔÇÖs still a lot of room for improvement that can make package designs more effective and easy to manipulate.

There are many package opening challenges faced by nurses and other healthcare professionals every day. At Michigan State University, thereÔÇÖs been numerous demonstrations immersing participants in simulated scenarios during MSUÔÇÖs Healthcare Packaging Immersion Experience, which have served to encourage attendees to better understand user perspectives.

The difficulties that opening a medical package pose are not a joke. This issue could lead to contaminated tools, implements and other which can result in life-threatening complications for the patient. In fact, the demonstrations at MSU include an evaluation phase in which the packages are viewed under a UV light to measure the amount of contact or contamination that can occur during opening.

Of course, training medical staff is an important part of the process when it comes to avoid contamination. However, sterile packaging design plays a great role in the way to manipulate the problem. Effective sterile packaging should be resistant and comply to the necessary conditions required to preserve sterility, and at the same time they must be designed in a way that allows medical professionals to open them fast and in a way that doesnÔÇÖt compromise the sterility of the tool or implement that will be used during an emergency or surgical procedure, or even a routine check up.

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