What makes a sterile swab? 

All of Puritan's sterile swabs undergo either ethylene oxide gas sterilization or gamma irradiation sterilization before they are sent to customers.

    • Ethylene oxide sterilization: Used for delicate instruments and devices that can't tolerate heat or moisture. Treated with ethylene oxide gas, which disrupts the DNA of any microorganisms living on them and stops the organisms from reproducing.
    • Gamma rays: A form of electromagnetic radiation. Rays pass through plastics and kill bacteria by breaking the bonds of bacterial DNA. Gamma radiation is very penetrating, and is commonly used for sterilization of disposable medical equipment.

Sterile Swab Materials

Medical and sterile swabs are essential devices in medical operations. These single-use tools are designed and fabricated for diverse applications, including wound treatment, specimen collection and even equipment cleanup. Calcium alginate swab use goes beyond medicine.It is important to note that there are different types of swabs available for varying uses.

If you are on the market for swabs for your work environment, you must evaluate the available options before making your purchase. Here is a simple guide on the different medical swabs, their benefits and uses to help you select the best products.

Calcium Alginate


Calcium alginate swabs have organic tips. These tips are fabricated using a material derived from seaweed. These products are primarily used for specimen collection, but they are also quite advantageous in wound treatment. The primary benefit of using calcium alginate swabs over alternatives is the biodegradability. The fibers on the body and around wounds from the tips will degrade naturally, eliminating residues.

Sterilized Cotton Swabs


If you are looking for general purpose medical swabs, you should choose cotton tip products. These tools are low-cost items which are perfect for high volume needs. Moreover, the products have desirable properties such as high absorbency, safety and softness. Cotton swabs can be used for wound treatment, cleaning and dressing application. You can also use the swab for sample collection and DNA testing, but you should use DNA free cotton swabs for the most accurate results.

Sterile Flocked Swabs


You should choose flocked medical swabs if you are on the market for specimen collection tools. These swabs are specially manufactured to guarantee superior performance in this application. The flocked tip of the swab is made by arranging multi-length polyester fibers with split ends uniformly around the shaft. Unlike other swabs, the collection of specimen does not depend on absorption. Instead, the collection relies on the special design, guaranteeing the best extraction performance.

Sterile Foam Swabs


Foam tip medical swabs are fabricated using medical-grade polyurethane foam. The high absorbency of the foam makes the product beneficial for specimen collection and testing applications. The soft, nonabrasive nature of the foam is suitable if you are looking for swabs to clean your delicate equipment. Moreover, it is important to note that the material can withstand exposure to chemicals which compromise other types of tips.

OB/GYN Swabs


You should select special OBGYN medical swabs if you are looking to acquire products for gynecological examination and preparation. These medical tools are designed and fabricated with oversized tips, guaranteeing efficient application. The OBGYN swabs are sterile, highly absorbent and latex-free. When shopping for your swabs, you can purchase rayon or cotton tips. Also, consider acquiring cervical scrapers and collection devices along with your swabs for efficiency.

Sterile Polyester Swabs


If your laboratory or other medical space requires swabs for biological tests, it is important to consider polyester tip swabs. These sterile devices are made using medical-grade polyester which is compatible with most lab tests. For instance, the polyester tip swabs can be used in PCR testing, rapid test diagnostics and general microbiological analysis. The product is also useful in specimen collection, and its exceptional sterility will prevent sample contamination.

Sterile Rayon Swabs


Rayon medical swabs are ideal for use in medical applications where cotton-tipped products are unsuitable. Their soft and absorbent nature makes these swabs perfect for specimen collection. In general, the tips of these tools are made using wood pulp. However, the natural material is processed extensively to eliminate compounds which could contaminate the specimen. Therefore, you can collect, process and transport your samples without concern.

Sterile Wound Measurement


Measuring surgical wounds, lacerations and other forms of damage can expose a patient to infections. Therefore, it is important to have sterile wound measurement swabs to acquire the right readings while minimizing the risk of infections. Wound measurement sticks and swabs are favorable because they are flexible and use a metric rule. Also, the foam tips at the end of the shafts are perfect for undermining, packing and tunneling around the wound.

Choosing The Right Medical Swabs

Choosing and purchasing the right medical swabs for your needs is not an insurmountable process. You will only need to consider your potential application of the medical tool in your work environment. It is also advisable to compare the different tip sizes and shaft lengths and designs. In addition, you must think about the suitability of the shaft material for your applications. If you are interested in a range of disposable swabs and applicators, consult Harmony for more information.

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