Data integrity in medical labels is absolutely essential. These data cannot be erroneous or unreadable. Medical labels do not have to be attractive and elegant, but they do have to be eye-catching and practical. That is why they are usually brightly colored/fluorescent, so that they do not go unnoticed by the medical staff.
Medical labels are used in hospitals, surgical centers, and labs, where storing and usage conditions can be harsh. These labels have to be able to adhere to stainless steel, plastics, rubber, latex gloves, wood, glass, aluminum, and other materials, and they need to be resistant against extreme high and low temperatures, cryogenic (-196°C ) and enclaving (121°C) conditions, chemicals, rough handling, disinfectants, etc.
That is why medical label elements have to be carefully combined and put together to produce a label that will not get torn, smudged, or destroyed in any way.
Medical labels are always pressure-sensitive with a permanent or reusable adhesive. Permanent adhesive makes the label stick to the surface of an application quickly and aggressively, making it impossible for the label to be taken off. Reusable adhesive labels also strongly bond with the application surface, but can be peeled off without tearing or leaving any residue on the application. Then they can be reused for the newly admitted patients.
Facestocks most commonly used for medical labels are vinyl, polyester, or some other synthetic material because they are the most durable and can withstand tough conditions.
They are usually color coded (by patient’s status, doctor, etc.) in order to draw the medical staff’s attention to what is most urgent about the patient. They are brightly colored and pre-printed or left blank for the healthcare practitioner to fill in the necessary information.