Have you ever wondered what the symbols on your catheter supplies meant? Catheters are one example of a medical supply that may have medical device symbols, standardized symbols governed by the FDA, and used to help users understand critical information, regardless of language.

What Do Symbols On Packages Mean?

The symbols on the packaging denote the procedures to be followed when handling, storing and shipping a package. Several of these symbols are present on the same box to show the correct handling and packaging of the package to ensure safety during shipment.

Why Are Medical Packaging Symbols Crucial?

Packaging symbols are global cues for handling the package, regardless of the box handlers’ language. They fulfill a vital function by aiding in product identification and disseminating knowledge that keeps customers and team members informed of potentially hazardous conditions.

Improves Efficiency

Labeling gives your shipment a professional appearance and informs those in the supply chain how to handle it. Using appropriate information and instructions on your package can reduce the risk of missing parcels or damaged returns. Providing a label with all the necessary information can help you increase your success.

Safety And Security

In addition to making your packaging stand out from the competition, labeling guarantees the safety and security of your product.

  • Hazard Warning Labels: Indicates any possible dangers. Toxic gas, flammable, radioactive, poisonous, explosive, and more are some of these label qualities.
  • Impact Labels: When delivery companies mishandle your shipments, a red mark will emerge on the label, making it possible to spot mishandling. Susceptible pharmaceutical or medical items may find this handy.
  • Temperature Indicators: They indicate if the product has undergone unsafe temperatures while in transit. 

Common Medical Package Symbols

A medical device’s label must display the relevant information during manufacture to guarantee the end user’s safety and regulatory compliance. It comprises several significant signs and symbols present in a specific manner.

Medical device labeling regulations may differ depending on the market in which the device is available or the product’s particulars, and labeling must strictly abide by such restrictions.

Single-Use / Do Not Re-Use: The words “single-use” or “do not re-use” signify that the individual must use the catheter only once.


Lot / Batch Number: Lots and batches are identifiable by their lot numbers, which contain the manufacturer’s lot code.

Reference Number: Identifies the product’s item number or reference number. To ascertain what medication you currently have on hand, your medical specialist might ask you to locate this number.

Use-By Date: The person should not use the catheter on the use-by label after the date.


Manufacturer’s Symbol: This logo must appear next to the manufacturer’s name and address.

Date Of Manufacture: Next to this sign, you will notice a date with a year and month indicated by four digits each (YYYY-MM).

Only For Prescription Use: It specifies the expiration date of the catheter.

Sterile Indicates a medical device that has been subjected to a sterilization process.

The letter R following “Sterile” means an irradiation-based sterilizing technique.

Sterile A indicates a medical device subjected to a sterilization process.

The letter R following “Sterile” means an irradiation-based sterilizing technique.

Does Not Contain DEHP: DEHP. This symbol denotes a catheter free of the phthalate plasticizer DEHP.

This symbol indicates the sterility of the medical device and the precise method—in this example, ethylene oxide—used to sterilize it. Other techniques for sterilizing medical products can use X-rays (E), radiation (R), and hydrochloric acid (H).

The sterilizing process indicated by the thermometer icon uses steam or dry heat.

Not sterilized or non-sterile: On products like non-sterile gloves, you could encounter the phrase “not sterilized” or “non-sterile.”

Do Not Use If The Package Is Damaged: This warning tells you not to use the product if you notice a broken or open seal.

Consult Instructions For Use: The symbol indicates that the user should reference the instructions.

The color, size, length, and form of your catheter supply package will change depending on the type of catheter you use. But because these are under FDA regulation, you can always rely on being aware that the symbols are present.

Symbols on the catheter are crucial. It allows the person using it to know what it contains and how to use it. Furthermore, it has different symbols that tell them its usage and expiration dates. If you are a first-time user, you must pay close attention to the signs and always approach a reliable medical supplier such as Active Live Medical Products when purchasing catheters.

How Active Life Medical Products Can Help With Catheter Supplies

You need a trusted catheter supplier when you require catheter supplies. Active Life Medical Products makes ordering the entire catheter supply process easy. Our Product Specialists can help you get your prescribed catheter covered through most insurances. Everything will be delivered directly to your front door.

Call Active Life Medical Products at (800) 319-2336 to place your order.