Medical Instruments

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Medical Instruments


mechanical devices that make it possible to perform diagnostic and therapeutic manipulations in various fields of medicine. More complex medical devices and equipment, as well as units with a degree of automation (for example, the electric scalpel, or pneumatic equipment for treating bones), are not classified as medical instruments, even if their terminal element falls into that category.

The invention and use of medical instruments depend on the requirements of practical public health and the level of development of medical science and technology. The development of new methods of diagnosis and treatment leads to the invention of new medical instruments.

Each field of medicine requires special instruments. For this reason the medical industry develops and serially produces sets of instruments for cardiovascular surgery, lung surgery, traumatology, ophthalmological and otorhinolaryngological operations, biopsies during bronchoscopy, and pathologicoanatomical dissection. Special instruments and sets have been created for pediatric surgery. The tendency in developing instruments is toward greater specialization (for example, instruments for microsurgery in ophthalmology and neurosurgery and for the use of cyancrylate medical glue in surgery of the respiratory organs).

In the USSR and other countries there is a well-developed network of research institutes and plants engaged in the development and manufacture of diverse medical instruments, devices, and equipment. The qualities necessary for medical instruments are reliability, durability, ability to withstand sterilization, and safety. High-quality materials (high-grade stainless steels, brass, silver, titanium, tantalum, rubber, and a wide assortment of polymers) are used in manufacturing medical instruments.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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