Here is a picture of a low grade manufacturing facility. This is done in a shed, note dirt and broom on left wall.
Common knowledge tells us that “you get what you pay for”. In China, while labor is cheap, it is the other aspects of manufacturing that are variable. Those aspects include the type of metal used to make the needle, sharpening methods, the type of Sterile Room the needles are assembled and packaged in, and the quality control standards in place at each level of manufacturing.
Stainless steel comes in a variety of grades and it is one of the key cost factors. Different grades of surgical steel have different properties, which may affect the quality of your treatment.
Lubricants may or may not be used. Types and qualities vary and will affect the cost of the needle.
Manufacturing facilities vary greatly. Very low-end needles are outsourced to individuals for sharpening, or to facilities with little or no quality control, and then brought back to the main factory to be packaged and sterilized. Mid-range facilities use better quality control, and a 100K sterile facility for finishing the needle and packaging. A 100K sterile room allows for 100,000 airborne particles per cubic meter. Better yet, some facilities are manufactured in a 10K sterile room.
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That means only 10,000 ambient air particles are permitted per cubic meter. The more stringent factories are about cleanliness, the less bacteria ends up on the shaft of the needle. All needles are sterilized, but if they are made in a factory with poor quality control, a quantity of dead bacteria will remain on the shaft of the needle after sterilization. Sensitive patients will react to the proteins on the shaft of the needles from the dead bacteria. This is called the pyrogen effect and in most cases cause redness, and possibly hives and itching. Low-end needles should be avoided no matter how attractive the savings are. We do ourselves and our patients a disservice by inserting low quality metal of uncertain manufacture into our patient’s precious body.
Here at Eastern Currents Distributing, we make every effort to ensure the high quality of all the needles we carry. The needles we carry are made in factories with integrated manufacturing and quality control procedures. Prices between brands may vary because of the raw materials; however, manufacturing is set at a high standard, so you can be confident in the products you purchase.