What’s Wrong with a Traditional Speculum’s Design?

It’s hard to believe a medical device’s design can influence a patient’s experience during a pelvic examination. Over the years, physicians and patients have reported the traditional speculum to be flawed in design. Although much more modern speculums have entered the medical device marketplace, physicians should be aware of a traditional speculum’s key design flaws that can impede a successful pelvic examination.

The product material makes the patient feel uncomfortable. A medical device’s material has a lasting impact on the way a speculum performs and influences a patient’s examination. Traditional metal speculums are made of medical steel, meaning they feature a hard, cold exterior. Some patients do not mind the feeling of medical steel; however, others cringe at the touch of metal during a pelvic exam.

It’s difficult to operate. A traditional speculum is designed without a light source. Essentially, this design flaw affects the way gynecologists use a speculum during a pelvic exam. Without adequate lighting, the gynecologist may not be able to properly locate or evaluate an examination area. A gynecologist should not be restricted by a speculum’s capabilities, especially if the speculum is difficult to operate. These types of complications can extend the session’s duration significantly. If the speculum is only available in one size, the physician may feel physically restricted during the examination.

It can be distracting to both the patient and the physician. A patient’s experience during a pelvic exam is largely based on the gynecologist’s ability to complete the exam efficiently and effectively. Alternatively, physicians can only complete the exam properly when the patient cooperates. This balanced relationship cannot result in a successful exam when both parties are distracted by operational issues.

It poses health risks to the patient. The use of a reusable speculum can expose patients and physicians to potential cross-contamination. Most speculums feature an intricate design with specific crevices, bolts, and openings. A vaginal speculum can easily hide biological debris within these areas. If reusable speculums, namely metal speculums, are not sterilized properly before or after use, harmful pathogens are likely to transfer to another individual. Therefore, sterilization alone may not be enough to ensure the reusable speculum is completely rid of these pathogens.

Cyalume Medical is paving the way for modern medicine with its single-use, chemiluminated vaginal speculum: SpecuLume EZ. This plastic, environmentally friendly, and patient-safe speculum was designed to optimize the physician and patient experience during a pelvic exam. Its key benefit boasts chemiluminescent technology, emitting a no-heat glow for at least 15 minutes. The SpecuLume EZ delivers the ideal diffused light physicians need to properly complete gynecological examinations. For more information regarding SpecuLume EZ, contact Cyalume Medical.

Cyalume Medical: Patient care in a new light.

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