Understanding the Importance of Bacteriostatic Qualities in Healthcare Products
In the healthcare industry, infection is a great concern. Not only is infection or disease one of the primary reasons for patients to seek care, but the healthcare industry is at risk of exposing patients to a variety of microbes. Even using sterile technique cannot eliminate all bacterial presence, though it can significantly reduce it. Many healthcare products, including surgical lubricants, contain bacteriostatic agents to help reduce the presence and spread of bacteria during procedures. Here, we will discuss the importance of selecting bacteriostatic products in the healthcare setting.
First, it is important to discuss the difference between antimicrobial, bacteriostatic, and bacteriocidal properties. The term antimicrobial refers to any agent that kills or stops the growth of microorganisms. Bacteriostatic agents are those that prevent the growth and reproduction of bacteria and bacteriocidal refers to agents that kill existing bacteria. So, bacteriostatic and bacteriocidal products are antimicrobial and all bacteriocidal products are also bacteriostatic. Many bacteriostatic products also kill bacteria, but not enough to be classified as a bacteriocidal agent.
Stopping the spread of disease or infection.
Every surface is capable of harboring bacteria and other microbes. In the healthcare setting, although every precaution is taken to prevent the spread of microbes, there is no such thing as “too many precautions.” Bacteria and other microbes thrive in moist environments, especially those that are warm and dark, like the inside of tubes and bottles. It is for this reason that multi-use liquids should contain some level of a bacteriostatic agent that prevents the growth and reproduction of any bacteria that makes it inside. Because medical lubricants are used to introduce medical instruments into a patient’s orifice, it is important that it inhibits the transmission of infectious agents. Whether single-use foilpacs® or multi-use tubes of Surgilube® Surgical Lubricant are used, you can rest assured that the medical lubricant contains bacteriostatic properties that prevent the introduction of pathogens to the patient.
As a side note, it is also important to understand that when bacteriostatic lubricants are used as personal lubricants, they are not effective at preventing the transmission of sexually transmitted disease or infection (STD/STI).
Many products, once opened, have a relatively short shelf-life due to the risk of contamination by microbes once the seal is broken. This results in massive amounts of products to be wasted when opened and not used within the recommended shelf-life. When products include a bacteriostatic agent, they can be used for much longer, which reduces the amount of product that is left unused. Industry-wide, this results in millions of dollars of product saved. For your healthcare facility, this can mean the difference between carrying the product and opting to go without.
At HR Pharmaceuticals, our products are designed with patient comfort and safety in mind, in addition to the success of the healthcare industry as a whole. For this reason, our products, including Surgilube Surgical Lubricant, are made with bacteriostatic agents that make it safer for your patients and the most sought-after surgical lubricant in the medical community. Surgilube Surgical Lubricant has been trusted by surgical and medical practitioners from around the world as the go-to lubricant since 1932. Learn more about the quality products we offer.