What are the Different Types of Surgical Supplies?

Marty Shaw

Surgical supplies consist of tools specifically designed for use in surgical procedures. Some instruments are designed for general use, while others have a more specific function. Most surgical supplies are made of stainless steel because it doesn't rust or corrode as easily as regular steel. A wide range of situations, from pinning broken bones to operating on a brain or heart, can be handled in surgery with such instruments as forceps, clamps, scalpels, and retractors. Other supplies may include measuring devices such as calipers, or surgical assisting supplies such as sponges and suction machines.

Latex gloves.
Latex gloves.

Grasping tools, such as forceps, are for grabbing or holding items that are too small to be hand-held. They can also be used to grab objects that can't be reached with the hands. Most grasping tools are hinged instruments with blades for grabbing on one end and a handle on the other end.

Surgical supplies include instruments, such as clamps, and protective gowns and masks.
Surgical supplies include instruments, such as clamps, and protective gowns and masks.

Surgical clamps are usually used to compress blood vessels to constrict the flow of blood. They are scissor-shaped, with interlocking teeth near the handle to allow a doctor or nurse to apply a specific amount of constriction to a vessel or organ. The tips of a surgical clamp are usually rounded, instead of pointed, to prevent damaging soft tissue.

A scalpel is a common surgical instrument.
A scalpel is a common surgical instrument.

Retractors are often used by surgeons to separate and open the edges of a wound or incision. They can also be used to hold organs in place while the surgeon is working in a particular area. A retractor is generally a curved or hooked blade with a handle.

Medical forceps are commonly used during a surgical procedure.
Medical forceps are commonly used during a surgical procedure.

Measurement devices, such as calipers and rulers, are often use to measure length, width, area, and volume. Calipers are frequently used in eye or jaw surgeries, when precise measurements are important. Rulers can also be used to measure the length and width of wounds.

Gauze is used to assist in clotting and also to dress and cover wounds.
Gauze is used to assist in clotting and also to dress and cover wounds.

In addition to medical equipment, other surgical supplies are also used during surgery, often by those assisting the surgeon. These supplies include sponges for absorbing blood and other fluids, gauze for covering wounds, and sutures for closing incisions. Latex gloves are another important surgical supply which helps prevent contamination by reducing the spread of germs. The surgical supplies used by doctors and nurses come in various shapes and sizes, but most of the supplies share some common features. They are generally designed to make surgeries more efficient and safer for both surgical staff and patients.

Forceps, surgical clamps and retractors are among tools used in surgeries.
Forceps, surgical clamps and retractors are among tools used in surgeries.
Surgical supplies are any tools used in surgical procedures.
Surgical supplies are any tools used in surgical procedures.
Every hospital has someone who is tasked with ordering and stocking surgical supplies.
Every hospital has someone who is tasked with ordering and stocking surgical supplies.

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