How to Boost Medical Scans & Procedures Accuracy: Radiopaque Markers

Posted by Casey Cephas | 8/20/20 7:30 AM

Medical knowledge and technology have advanced at incredible rates. Many of today’s routine tests and procedures would have been unimaginable just a few decades ago. Yet with all the innovation, people are still the heart of our medical care. And that means human error is always a possibility.

Take, for instance, the field of spinal surgery. According to a 2014 survey by the North American Spine Society (NASS), 68% of respondents stated that at some point in their careers, they performed either wrong-level exposures or wrong-level surgeries on the spine. Not only can inaccurate procedures be extremely harmful to patients but resulting lawsuits can result in damages over $1 million.

Mistakes can happen in any area of medicine. While there are numerous factors that can cause them, many are preventable. One strategy is improving the accuracy of testing and procedures with radiopaque markers.

What are radiopaque markers?

Radiopaque markers are a type of printed indicator featuring special inks that are visible on radiographic scans. Often, these markers use adhesives to stick to the patient’s skin. By knowing the exact location of these markers and having them show up on a scan, medical professionals can more accurately identify reference points or areas of concern.

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Radiopaque markers are useful in a variety of tests, including:

  • X-Ray
  • MRI
  • CT scan
  • Mammography
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Angiography

Benefits of Stick-to-Skin Radiopaque Markers

Radiopaque markers are an effective and cost-efficient way to improve the accuracy of medical professionals and overall safety for patients. More precise testing and clearer information can reduce the number of radiographic tests a patient is subjected to, or help make surgical procedures less invasive. For example, the usage of radiopaque markers for a surface site correlation can reduce a spinal surgery incision size by roughly 50%. (BMC Musculoskelet Disord 5, 8, (2004))*

In addition to more positive outcomes, these radiopaque markers can also reduce the chance of a mistake or oversight during a procedure, which can prevent costly malpractice lawsuits against providers.

Here are more benefits of using radiopaque markers:

  • More accurate imaging
  • Creates precise reference points without artifacts
  • Decreased surgical incision size
  • Reduced radiation exposure
  • Expanded use of large plain X-ray
  • Reduced dependency on inaccurate palpation
  • Single-use and disposable
  • Can be customized into many shapes and sizes

Designing and Manufacturing Radiopaque Markers

Radiopaque markers are unique applications that call for specialized experience and manufacturing capabilities. At Tapecon, we are a one-stop partner that can assist in the design, engineering, production, and fulfillment of your product. We have the materials expertise to recommend the ideal radiopaque ink for the specified substrate, as well as stick-to-skin adhesives if needed. Once the materials are selected, we can employ a wide range of printing and converting techniques to manufacturer your product in our ISO 13485 certified and FDA registered facility.

Get Started with Radiopaque Markers

At Tapecon, we have over 100 years of experience helping customers solve their complex product challenges. Learn more about our printed indicators applications.

Topics: Wearables, Printing, Custom Converting, Printed Indicators

Written by Casey Cephas

Casey is the Marketing Coordinator at Tapecon Inc.

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