Like many other precious metals, platinum has a variety of uses in the medical field. However, you may be surprised to learn the many different ways that platinum is used to save lives and treat serious health concerns.
Fighting Cancer with Platinum
The medical community began using platinum in a variety of different anti-cancer treatments in the late 1960s. One of the most common medical uses for platinum is shrinking and slowing the spread of cancerous tumors. Since medical specialists began using platinum, it gradually increased the survival rate of patients.
Every year, the medical community uses an estimated 25,000 ounces of platinum in anti-cancer treatments. As cancer rates continue to rise globally, experts predict the demand for platinum will only grow.
Medical Platinum and Heart Health
In addition to anti-cancer drugs, platinum is also a key component in medical devices that aid heart health.
A common problem for people with poor heart health is generating a steady and consistent heartbeat. To combat this problem, medical professionals developed implantable cardioverter defibrillators, or ICDs. The most common ICD device is the pacemaker.
Pacemakers aid healthy heart function by stimulating a steady heartbeat, and the platinum wire inside them is a vital component. Because of platinum’s high conductivity, it is excellent for devices that generate an electric current.
Platinum in Catheters, Stents, and Implants
Platinum also serves as a critical component for a variety of other medical devices.
- Catheters are long and flexible tubes used to diagnose and treat many different illnesses. When a blockage prevents oxygen from reaching important parts of the body, catheters find and clear the blockage.
- Along that same vein, stents inserted into the body prevent future blockages.
- Implants serve many functions in the body, though platinum is most common in brain and heart implants. In the brain, platinum delivers electrical currents to stimulate nerves and increase brain function. This technology treats illnesses such as chronic pain, migraines, and epilepsy.
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Also, stay tuned to Garfield’s blog for more interesting and helpful insights about precious metals, such as articles like 5 Tips for Choosing a Gold Refinery Near You, 3 Fun Facts About Platinum, and Will the Silver Price Keep Going Up?