The benefits of silicone tubing and hosing in medical applications

Tubes are hollow cylinders that are used for transporting materials, most commonly gases or liquids. Increased use of medical devices for a wider range of conditions means tubes and hosing are being used by hospitals and doctors in more ways than ever before.


Image Credit

Uses for tubing and hoses in medicine

One common use for tubing in medicine is to deliver drugs to patients. A wide range of medications can be administered in this way.

Treatment of patients may involve removal or replacement of bodily fluids through tubes; for example, patients with poor kidney function regularly undergo dialysis, which involves blood being pumped from their body, cleaned and then pumped back into the body.

Medical implants are devices that are inserted in or attached to the surface of the body. They may be used to monitor bodily function, automatically deliver patient medications, or provide support for tissues or organs. Many implants require a system of tubes to carry out these functions.


Image Credit

Medical tubing can also be used for the collection of excreted bodily fluids, such as catheters for collecting urine or colostomy bags for collecting faecal matter.

Important features for medical tubing

First and foremost, it is essential that medical tubes are strong and resistant to tearing. Silicone hoses from suppliers such as are particularly suitable for medical applications as they have the ability to change and regain their shape multiple times without damage.

Tubes may need to be inserted into a patient’s body or carry solutions that will end up in a patient; therefore, it is essential that tubes can be sterilised to avoid any risk of infection.

Medical tubes must be able to resist a wide range of temperatures and maintain their essential properties. If tubes are designed to be used multiple times, this may include the extremely high temperatures used in autoclave sterilisation.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) carries out biological evaluation of medical devices to ensure they won’t cause adverse biological reactions, or at least that any risks are acceptable. There is a long history and extensive evidence of the suitability of silicone hoses for medical purposes.

Finally, medical tubes must not react with any of the chemicals they are designed to contain. Silicone has been shown to be non-reactive.