A Disposable Scalpel: Safe, Effective and Convenient
Is a disposable scalpel the best tool for your non-surgical application? Do you need to use a scalpel in the presence of an MRI machine? If so, learn how Slice® 10574 disposable scalpels, with their finger-friendly® safety blades, provide more safety features than any others on the market today.
Why Choose Disposable Scalpels?
When you think about scalpels, you immediately picture a medical operating room, with doctors and nurses poised over a patient, and a surgeon making the all-important first cut. The scalpel makes a deep, clean laceration through the skin and tissue. These surgical scalpels are intentionally sharp in order to perform their intended function.
There are many other, non-surgical, applications where disposable scalpels are the best choice for cutting and scraping tasks. Traditional scalpels frequently cause lacerations during blade replacement. Such a laceration could cost a worker more than time off from their job. It could also cost your company a lot of money. Disposable scalpels, used with proper handling and disposal techniques, can mitigate the risk of accidental lacerations, as the blades never need to be changed.
If you’re working in an environment where sterile tools are mandatory, you must gather traditional scalpels and other instruments once they‘ve been used, and run them through an autoclave to sterilize them for reuse. With disposable scalpels, there’s no need to sterilize after each use. This means you don’t need rigorous checks in place to ensure that all scalpels get re-sterilized, nor do you need to invest in an expensive autoclave.
What Is a Disposable Scalpel Used For?
There are plenty of medically-related fields where disposable scalpel and blade uses are advantageous. Bio-specimen processing labs, medical examiner and coroner offices, research and development facilities, and veterinary research labs are just a few.
Such scalpels are also used in non-medical settings: high school and college labs, film processing labs, and the electronics assembly industry. Many of these facilities cannot afford expensive autoclaves. In these applications, Slice disposable scalpels, with their finger-friendly blade edges, minimize unnecessary laceration hazards, while providing a convenient, sterile, and disposable tool.
A Safer Disposable Safety Scalpel
Slice designed their disposable safety scalpels to further enhance tool safety. Non-surgical scalpels only need to be sharp enough to complete the cut or scrape. Unfortunately, most disposable non-surgical scalpels are manufactured with overly-sharp, dangerous blades. This puts the user at risk for accidental lacerations.
Slice uses a true safety blade for its non-surgical and MRI-compatible scalpel: the 10574. In non-surgical applications, safety cutting is just as critical as it is in the operating room. Slice pays attention to all aspects of safety when designing its scalpels and other cutting tools. Handles need secure, comfortable grips. Our 100% zirconium oxide material is stronger than steel, allowing us to manufacture our safety blades with a finger-friendly blade edge, thereby mitigating the risk that a worker will suffer a laceration injury if the tool slips. Additionally, there’s no blade replacement necessary with our disposable safety scalpels, which further reduces opportunities for lacerations.
Slice disposable scalpel blades are created from chemically inert advanced ceramics, which are non-contaminating, making them safer and more convenient. Coupled with our proprietary double-angle grind—giving them a finger-friendly edge that is safe to the touch—our disposable scalpel blades are sharp enough for non-surgical cutting and scraping tasks.
Slice disposable scalpels are the only non-surgical scalpels on the market today that feature a safer blade. The Slice gamma-sterilized 10574 scalpel (disposable) comes in packs of five individually-wrapped scalpels that are ideal for non-surgical applications and for use around MRI machines.
All Slice blades, including those used on the 10574 scalpel, are safer than traditional blades. They feature these important properties that result in a safer tool:
- Made from 100% zirconium oxide, an engineered ceramic.
- Chemically inert, non-contaminating, and non-rusting.
- Blades are ground to a finger-friendly edge that is safe to touch.
- Slice ceramics have a Mohs Scale hardness of 8.2. When ground using Slice’s proprietary grind, the resulting blade edge lasts up to 11 times longer than steel (5.0 - 5.5 Mohs rating) or stainless steel (5.5 - 6.3 Mohs rating).
Scalpel Safety in Non-Surgical Applications
In addition to the danger of accidental lacerations, there are other hazards posed by traditional metal scalpels that make them unsuitable for non-surgical use. This is where disposable safety scalpels can make a difference in the safety practices of your organization.
Slice ceramic scalpels are a far safer choice for non-surgical applications. Slice makes two models of safer non-surgical scalpels, but it should be noted that only the 10574 model is MRI-compatible. Slice also makes the replaceable blade (10568) model, but this model should not be used around MRI machines.
Bio-Hazardous Material Transfer
Using a traditional metal scalpel creates an opportunity for bio-hazardous materials and fluids to be transferred from one surface to another, or to infect a worker if there is an accidental laceration during use. A study by the Vanderbilt University Medical Center concluded that, “Penetration of the skin with a biologically-contaminated sharp device is one of the most efficient means of transmitting infection.”
Any disposable, single-use, scalpel minimizes this risk, if proper handling and disposal practices are followed. Slice disposable scalpel blades, with their finger-friendly edges, gamma-sterilization, and chemically inert advanced ceramics, add additional safety by minimizing both accidental lacerations and potential contamination.
Dangerous Blade Replacement
Traditional, replaceable scalpel blades are made from thin metal. This metal dulls quickly, resulting in the need to change scalpel blades frequently. There is an inherent risk involved in handling a sharp blade during replacement, even if an additional tool is used to hold the blade, instead of bare hands. The blade can snap and fly across the room if too much force is applied, endangering everyone in the immediate vicinity.
MRI Magnetic Field
In applications where scalpels are in use around MRI machines, the danger posed by a traditional metal scalpel can turn deadly. MRI machines are left running constantly, as it costs a lot to power them down and up again. The magnetic field generated by these machines is incredibly powerful.
Earth has a magnetic field of 0.5 Tesla (5,000 gauss). A medical MRI machine generates a magnetic field up to 60 times more. MRI machines used in research applications routinely generate a magnetic field 120 times stronger than Earth’s gravitational force!
A magnetic field this strong will pull instruments made of ferrous metals, like steel or stainless steel, right out of a pocket and send them hurtling into the bore cylinder of the MRI. These projectiles can seriously injure or kill anyone that gets in their path. Watch this video to understand just how dangerous it is to have metal objects anywhere near an MRI machine.
The problem here is that you cannot tell whether any given metal is ferromagnetic just by looking at it. Many facilities have invested in ferromagnetic detection devices to ensure that items such as underwires, insulin pumps, shrapnel and pacemakers are not inadvertently brought into the magnetic field of an MRI machine. The Slice 10574 ceramic scalpel (disposable) has no metallic components of any type.
Are Disposable Scalpels a Better Option?
There are big differences between scalpels used in surgical settings and those used for non-surgical applications or settings near MRI machines. It comes down to the difference between extreme sharpness and safety, and which property best meets your needs.
While any disposable scalpels will provide some degree of laceration protection, only the Slice 10574 Disposable Scalpel offers a more convenient and longer-lasting alternative to a traditional metal scalpel, with safety blades that are gamma-sterilized, safe to the touch, and impervious to contamination.