Types of Medical Equipment
Every day, doctors, nurses and other health care professionals employ a wide variety of medical tools to save and improve patients’ lives. There are literally thousands of different medical devices to be found in any given hospital or clinic, and going through them all would take awhile. Every piece of medical equipment, from simple needles to high tech imaging tools, is essential to the day to day running of a health care facility. The following are just some of the most common types of medical equipment used in hospitals and medical practices today (though it’s not covered in this article, it’s worth keeping in mind that medical veterinary equipment is just as complex and diverse and comprises its own entire field of specialized medicaldevices).
Everyday Use Equipment
This is a blanket category that includes all the different tools and medical devices that doctors and nurses use every day during routine medical procedures. Many of these tools are simple, like needles, latex gloves, syringes and stethoscopes. Other everyday medical devices, however, are quite sophisticated. Most hospitals and clinics employ new or refurbished autoclaves, for example, which are compact machines that are commonly used to sterilize medical tools before they’re used. Today’s medical exam tables and weighing scales, while not technically high tech machines, are important and often quite complex tools that need their fair share of maintenance.
Diagnostic equipment is any type of equipment whose main purpose is to help doctors detect and and diagnose diseases. Some of the most commonly used pieces of diagnostic equipment include ultrasound machines, PET scanners (which use cameras and tracer fluid to produce images of a patient’s internal organs in order to detect signs of cancer or other diseases), CT scanners (which use x-ray sand dye to do the same job as PET scanner), and MRI machines (which use magnetic resonance technology to detect things like tumors, infections and internal injuries.
Therapeutic equipment is equipment that is used after surgeries and other medical treatments to help patients recover and improve their health.
Therapeutic medical equipment includes devices like infusion pumps, which infuse the circulatory system of recovering patients with the nutrients and medicines their bodies need to get better; medical lasers and LASIK surgical machines.
Life Support Equipment
Life support equipment is equipment that is used to maintain a patient’s organs functioning when said organs have failed. Life support equipment includes heart-lung machines, medical ventilators (used to artificially circulate air in and out of the lungs), extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machines (or ECMOs, which artificially infuses patients’ blood with oxygen), and dialysis machines.