In the medical industry, oftentimes it is necessary to test a single blood sample a number of times. Other times, a patient may need to be injected with multiple doses of a medicine or nutrient throughout a single day. Thinking these examples through, it would be costly and wasteful to continuously take new samples of blood or open new vials of medicine each and every time it is needed, when you could use the same one numerous times. That is where using an elastomeric self-sealing septa (also known as a resealable septa) can make medical practices run more smoothly and efficiently.
Consider the below example to better illustrate the cost-effectiveness of resealable septa.
A malnourished patient at a hospital requires enteral feeding in order to obtain his/her daily nutrition. The feeding tube is connected to a bag containing liquid nutrition, which must be given to the patient every six hours. An appropriate dose of nutrition is drawn from the bag by a syringe and then delivered into the patient’s system via the feeding tube. In this example, this must be done every six hours for approximately 15 days.
Without resealable septa, the bags would not be sealed again after every puncture, thus the patient would require four separate single-dose bags per day. This adds up quickly, totaling 60 bags of nutrients in a 15 day period that the hospital would purchase for just a single patient.
Not only does the hospital pay for the nutrient bags, but it also has to pay for the nurse practitioner responsible for changing those bags. It takes the nurse approximately 30 minutes to replace the nutrient bag and clean the feeding tube, costing the nurse two hours per day and the hospital more money to pay for his/her wages.
If the bag can be resealed after each puncture, the number of nutrient bags needed per patient will be reduced. A hospital, for example, could use one bag per day instead of the four used in scenario one. Resealable septa can help the hospital cut the cost of bag material by 75 percent.
In addition, the nurse’s time spent on this patient will also decrease, saving the hospital money in wages. The nurse would only have to change the feeding bag once per day instead of the original four, allowing the nurse more time to take care of other patients.
*Note that the hospital will still be purchasing the same amount of nutrients in both scenarios regardless of packaging size.
The variable cost of managing a patient with an enteral feeding tube is four times higher in scenario one than in scenario two. Using bags with resealable septa helps the hospital not only decrease the number of bags used but also consequently will save on supply cost and average time spent on each patient. In addition, fewer bags may reduce the cost of transportation, bag storage, and waste management, freeing up additional resources for other healthcare-related activities. Similar cost and waste saving benefits can also be applied to non-hospital settings, especially in a long-term care facility.
For more information about Parker’s self-sealing septa, please check out part 1 of this series “What Qualify as Self-Sealing Septa” and please direct any inquiry about this self-sealing technology to O-Ring Division.