Global population is increasing and aging. According to the US Census Bureau, domestic population will increase by 7.9% by 2010 and 17.0% by 2020, compared to the base year, 2000. The fastest growing segment of this population are individuals reaching and exceeding the age of 65; their numbers are expected to increase by 13.3% by 2010 and 53.2% by 2020. Also, people as they age require more surgery time.
Increasing Demand for Surgery
Medical Reprocessing Cycle
While some medical instruments are designed for single use, the majority must be reprocessed between surgical cases and need to be compatible with the sterilization process used. Traditionally, steam has been used to sterilize surgical instruments.
Low Temperature Sterilization
Today’s surgical suites are very different from those of the past. Today, the trend continues towards the practice of minimally invasive surgery (MIS). Devices used in MIS are complex, expensive and delicate, and in most cases, do not tolerate a high-temperature steam sterilization process. These high-demand devices are a challenge to sterilize and constitute a major financial investment for hospitals.