The global pandemic brought well-deserved recognition to the incredible job America’s frontline healthcare heroes do, day in and day out. But people aren’t the only things making a positive impact.
Sterile packaging is essential in protecting the nation’s patients, medical providers, and first responders — before, during, and well beyond the COVID-19 crisis.
Innovative pouches, trays, and packs protect life-saving medical devices, supplies, and pharmaceuticals from harmful elements that can compromise their efficacy and safety. From a baby’s first immunization and in-patient surgical procedures to the daily administration of insulin and life-saving medications, sterile packaging helps ensure the safety of everyone by adhering to rigorous quality and regulatory standards.
This year, the Sterilization Packaging Manufacturers Council (SPMC) created Sterile Packaging Day to recognize and thank all partners who work together to deliver innovative, safe, and sterilized devices and supplies to healthcare experts who provide excellence in patient care. The event builds on three pillars: Patient Safety, Peace of Mind, and Supply Chain Strength.
“We hope to bring awareness to one of the behind-the-scenes, yet incredibly important aspects of ensuring patient health and safety,” says Dhuanne Dodrill, SPMC chair and PAXXUS CEO. “Sterile packaging is necessary to protect life-saving medical devices and prevent infection; ultimately it can also help provide peace of mind. March 10 provides an opportunity to celebrate our incredible frontline healthcare workers and the entire supply chain that is devoted to improving patient outcomes.”
This includes all the people who design, produce, sterilize, test, handle, and rely on sterile packaging to protect patients:
Regulatory bodies: Organizations such as the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) and ASTM International provide safety guidance and standards to protect us all.
Medical device manufacturers: Fabricators of vital and innovative equipment, components, and supplies used to deliver medical care.
Sterilization packaging manufacturers: Producers of custom flexible packages for medical devices that undergo sterilization and remain sterile until opened.
Sterilization companies: Organizations providing sterilization services through electron beam, ethylene oxide, gamma, X-ray, and other emerging technologies.
Healthcare professionals: Including doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), and others.
Healthcare settings: Including hospitals, clinics, and long-term care and home-health facilities.
What you can do to get involved?
Here are five tips on how you can participate, from SPMC’s Sterile Packaging Day Toolkit (click to download the Toolkit for free):
1. Recognize and thank an esteemed professional who works with sterile packaging daily.
2. Raise awareness for the value of sterile packaging.
3. Show your support for healthcare professionals.
4. Donate blood or organize a blood drive.
5. Identify the sterilized products all around us.
Part of the Flexible Packaging Association, the SPMC is a consortium of industry experts voiced in the unique production requirements of medical and pharmaceutical sterilization packaging. Volunteers from Amcor Flexibles, Beacon Converters, PAXXUS, PPC Flexible Packaging, Printpack Medical, and Technipaq collaborate with supply chain partners and regulators to provide packaging requirement guidance, test methodology clarity, standards development, and user education. These member companies produce the vast majority of all sterilizable flexible packaging materials used in the US.