Years ago, hospital workers at acute care centers, surgical centers, and other similar facilities had a primary issue with the disposal of the obligatory medical byproducts released by the various procedures performed there – and things could get messy.
Of course, OSHA-mandated procedures were in place to ensure the safety of the workers involved, but even with personal protective equipment (PPE), handling canisters full of bodily fluids and other surgical waste is a delicate process at best. At worst, storage bags have the potential to rupture and there’s always the potential for a storage canister to split open if dropped during transport.
An Initial Fix
Infection control expert Safetec of America, Inc. quickly offered a solution: packets of medical-grade solidifier that would resorb the liquid involved and transform the liquid medical waste housed within hospital-standard plastic cylinders into a solid. Essentially, this step eliminated any fears of liquid spatter during storage, transport, or via accidental means. However, one problem remained – packaging.
Other companies in the same arena offered tear-off packets which the user must empty into a narrow opening in the top of the canister, but unfortunately, the margin for error was rather wide.
Safetec’s initial solution was to package the solidifier within a structure similar to a tea bag, allowing liquid to seep in and mix with the solidifier, eventually bursting it and distributing the contents throughout the container. However, in some applications, this, too, proved problematic; if fluid levels were too high or too low, not all of the sample was exposed to the solidifier.
A Complete Solution through Collaboration
The ultimate solution to Safetec’s packaging puzzle had already been invented – a dissolvable paper developed by fellow industry pioneer SmartSolve. This unique paper is fully dissolvable in a solution of at least 6% water and allows the entirety of the solidifier product to interact with the medical waste in question.
Together, Safetec and SmartSolve designed a slim packet that could be dropped directly into a medical waste cylinder’s narrow opening and dissolve, completely solidifying its contents for safe transport.
Ken Bianchi, Executive Vice President at Safetec of America, Inc., commented, “Solidification products for the infection control market is kind of how we started years ago. Hospitals have different protocols for dealing with body fluids but one of the best ways to protect whoever's cleaning up after the surgery is to solidify the contents so it can be moved. Plus, if someone drops the canister, it's not going to present an infection control situation. We were using a couple of different materials when we met SmartSolve. We noticed they were doing some really interesting things with consumer products and wanted to incorporate their material into our acute care spill control solidifier line.”
SmartSolve Industries Director, Jonathan Jakubowski, put it this way: “Early adopters are hard to find, but Safetec is a diamond in the rough. When Safetec launched their melt-a-way line, this SmartSolve technology was brand new to the market. Their success and growth is a testament to their innovative vision coupled with the exceptional performance of SmartSolve heat-sealable materials.”
Drop-In Pacs solve a crucial safety issue while also enhancing the speed at which the solidifying agent begins to work. Even more impressive is the fact that the new packaging with SmartSolve dissolvable paper remains at about the same price point as the former product. Overall, the medical industry’s response to the product’s improved design has been outstanding.
Mr Bianchi continued, ”There are a couple of big benefits to using the drop-in melt-away; it goes in the portal so you don't have to unscrew or cut the top of a bottle and pour it in. There's also no measuring because they're designed for a certain size or a certain amount of liquid. It provides a really easy way to use a solidifier - pull it out of the box and it goes in through the top of the canister, through the portal and then once it hits the solution it starts to work. It's safe, easy to use, and fast. It also has the potential to cut costs for the healthcare system.”
Need More Information?
Together, Safetec and SmartSolve take pride in the innovations made possible with collaboration and look forward to the opportunity to continue to innovate in the future. If you’d like to see the partnership in action, visit Safetec’s product page for specs, videos and more.
If you’d like more information about the wide range of possibilities SmartSolve’s bio-forward, eco-friendly solutions could offer you, reach out today.