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Sterilization containers are rigid reusable systems used to store and protect surgical instruments post sterilization. Rigid containers come in various materials and sizes and have filters to permit sterilizing agents to enter the container. Rigid containers are an alternative to pouches and wraps commonly used to package surgical instruments. They offer substantial environmental and economic benefits along with improved safety. They are categorized as Class II medical devices, and validation with different sterilization techniques is required. Sterilization containers, which require higher upfront costs, are made of metal or plastic. With respect to lifespan, these containers last for years. Reusability of rigid containers leads to massive reduction in waste generated compare to sterilization wraps and their related disposal cost. As per an article published in 2012 by Practice Greenhealth, Mills-Peninsula Medical Centre, disposal processing was estimated at around 8-10 torn wrap sets per week costing the organization between $800 to $1000 per week and around $45,000 annually.
Sterilization wraps are less costly at first but generate 5% to 10% of total hospital waste. Significant disposal cost and damage to the environment are major concerns associated with wraps. This is boosting the adoption of rigid containers. For instance, the American Hospital Association published an article ‘Convert to Rigid Reusable Sterilization Containers’ that mentions that switching from disposable blue wrap to rigid reusable sterilization containers saves substantial amounts of money, reduces waste, decreases energy requirements, increases storage space, improves patient safety and instrument reprocessing turnaround time, and has been demonstrated to help health care organizations’ bottom line. Although the initial expenses of sterilization wraps are significantly lower, sterilization containers are much more cost-effective due to the fact that they are reusable and do not incur any cost related to waste disposable. Also, sterilization containers provide significant environmental benefits as they do not cause any medical waste.
Rise in use of rigid containers has permitted big medical device players to explore new avenues of profits. Therefore, the threat of new entrants is high to moderate for the sterilization containers market. Large medical device companies are entering the sterilization containers market and strengthening their business by developing advanced devices and new product launches. For instance, in 2016, Becton, Dickinson and Company introduced a new low temperature sterilization container, Genesis low temperature rigid container system, which is validated for newer low-temperature sterilization processes and systems from market-leading sterilizer manufacturers, including the V-PRO Low Temperature Sterilization Systems from STERIS and STERRAD Systems.
The global sterilization containers market can be segmented based on type, end-user, and geography. In terms of type, the sterilization containers market can be divided into perforated and non-perforated sterilization containers. Based on end-user, the sterilization containers market can be categorized into hospitals, ambulatory surgical centres, specialty clinics, and others. The hospitals segment is expected to boost the global sterilization containers market due to high demand for sterilization products in operation rooms of hospitals globally.
In terms of geography, the global sterilization containers market can be segmented into. North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. Roughly 60% of hospitals in Europe use rigid containers and the remaining 40% use blue wraps. Europe is expected to hold a major share in the sterilization containers market during the forecast period owing to environmental awareness and adoption of strict policies to control ecological deterioration. The sterilization containers market in North America expected to expand at a rapid CAGR during forecast period due to changing trend of adoption of containers over wraps. The market in Asia Pacific and Latin America is anticipated to expand in future due to low environmental awareness, rise in health care spending, and improving health care infrastructure. High upfront cost of rigid containers compared to wraps is one of the major factors limiting the expansion of the sterilization containers market in rapidly developing countries such as China, India, Brazil, etc..
The rivalry in the global sterilization containers market is high to moderate. The sterilization containers market is consolidated in nature with a few large players holding substantial market share. Aesculap, Inc., a subsidiary of B. Braun Company, holds a major share and is considered to be the market leader in the global sterilization containers market. Major market players in the global sterilization containers market include Case Medical, Becton, Dickinson and Company, Aygun Co. Inc., Jewel Precision, Paragon Medical, Medline Industries, Inc. and Symmetry Surgical Inc..
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