Sterilization is process of killing all micro-organisms and pathogens to avoid contamination by means of using physical or chemical treatment. Conversely disinfection is a process to control the growth of micro-organisms and kill a define class of micro-organisms. Disinfection targets narrow spectrum bacteria leaving bacterial spores intact, while sterilization works on broad spectrum micro-organisms. Autoclave uses high pressure and steam to sterilize solid and glass instruments, and liquid mediums in biotechnology, research and pathology laboratories. It is the predominantly used sterilization equipment due to its convenient usability and low maintenance operation. Different types of sterilization techniques offers distinct sets of advantages. In case of heat sensitive materials and the items which are more prone to damage due to the repeated exposure to heat, chemical sterilization methods is preferred over the high heat sterilization methods.
Furthermore, rising incidence of hospital acquired infections (HAIs), is driving the need for sterilization and disinfectants in hospitals. According to the FDA’s guideline for disinfection and sterilization in healthcare facilities, failure to attempt proper sterilization and disinfection leads risk of person-to-person disease host transmission. Further, it has been stated by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that hospitals in the U.S. with proper sterilization techniques and equipment will be granted Medicare positive payment adjustment in 2017. These will further encourage the use of proper sterilization equipment and disinfectants.
However, high cost of maintenance and replacement parts is a still a hurdle on large scale adoption of sterilization equipment in developing economies. Besides, stringent government regulations laid by National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) associated with the use of toxic gas such as ethylene oxide during gas sterilization of heat sensitive devices such as electrical, rubber and plastic equipment in hospitals, is critical to be followed to avoid environmental and health issues.
Sterilization equipment and Disinfectants market taxonomy:
By Product Type
Rising numbers of Hospital acquired infections (HAIs) to fuel the growth of sterilization and disinfectants market
Hospital acquired infections (HAIs) are among the key factors driving the demand for sterilization equipment and disinfectants. According to the HAI Prevalence survey report, 2014, there were 722,000 acute cases of HAIs in the U.S. hospitals of which there were 75,000 deaths during hospitalization.
Moreover, the top 5 HAIs - surgical site infections, ventilator associated pneumonia, central line-associated bloodstream infection, C.difficile infections and catheter associated pneumonia are responsible for the major healthcare expenditure. According to the CDC, Clostridium difficile, a bacteria predominantly present in intestine, is responsible for causing infection of intestinal colon and is a major cause of healthcare acquired infections in the U.S. hospitals resulting in US $4.8 billion spend each year on acute healthcare facility.
Developed regions are major growth engines of the sterilization equipment and disinfectants market
North America dominated the sterilization equipment and disinfectants market. This is owing to high prevalence of the hospital acquired infections (HAIs) such as urinary tract infections, surgical site infections, bloodstream infections and respiratory pneumonia and skin infections.
A recent incident encountered in 2017, from a children’s hospital in New Orleans (United States) where at least a dozen of children who underwent cardiac surgery contacted a rare surgical site infection caused by mycobacterium abscessus. The infection was touted to be caused due to the improper disinfection of operating room equipment. According to CDC, mycobacterium abscessus have been known to contaminate medical devices and lead to skin infections. These encourages the further need to follow proper sterilization and disinfection procedures to avoid possible cause of HAIs in near future.
High turnover rate of sterile processing technicians will act as constraint challenging factor for the market growth
The sterilization departments in the hospitals of the U.S. face a major challenge of increased turnover rate of sterile processing technicians. Continuous advancement in the surgical devices fuels the demand for highly trained technicians, which hospitals struggle to keep pace with. However, a wise investment in sterile processing equipment will offset the capital cost required to hire and train a new technician.
Major advancements to support growth of sterilization equipment and disinfectants market:
Key players operating in the sterilization equipment and disinfectants market include 3M Company, STERIS Corporation, Getinge Group, Cantel Medical Corporation, Andersen Products Inc., Advanced Sterilization Products and HARTMANN GROUP (BODE Chemie GmbH is subsidiary company of HARTMANN GROUP). Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the new Biological Indictor (BI) sterilization testing kit from 3M Company Inc., meaning that hospitals can know the sterilization status of their surgical devices within 24 minutes of this test. The technique is much quicker than the present biological indicators present in the market.
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