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Are Pulp Macerators Wasteful?

The importance of safeguarding patients and clinicians from infection is paramount to a safe and successful healthcare environment. So choosing a human waste disposal method for your care setting should be an easy choice – the fastest, most effective method available. Nothing else should come into consideration.

But invariably, it does.

Close up of medical pulp bedpans

What else should I consider?

Factors such as cost and sustainably are more important than ever and our choices have to reflect these issues.

With this in mind, could you consciously choose a method to safely dispose of infectious material if it might seem at all wasteful?

The answer is probably no.

Choosing to dispose of infectious material using a pulp macerator with single use medical pulp utensils greatly reduces the risk of cross-contamination and re-contamination from reusable products.

But to some it seems wasteful – these products are only designed to be used once after all. While this is why they are so good at reducing the risk of healthcare acquired infections (HCAIs), the idea of disposing of utensils after just one use goes against the culture of recycle and reuse we’re generally trying to instil.

Once a pulp utensil is macerated and expelled into the sewer it is gone for good. Isn’t it?

The short answer is no.

Let’s first take a look at the medical pulp utensil itself. It is made from recycled pulp matter – discarded cardboard and paper products – and requires very little new material in order to produce it.

Medical pulp utensils are considered sustainable products.

Following the maceration cycle, the material which enters the sewer is able to flow to the water treatment plant where the water is treated and released back into the water table.

Any tiny pieces of pulp which aren’t broken down entirely are removed along with the human waste, treated and reused by turning them into soil conditioner, fertiliser, or fuel for biomass reactors.

So, medical pulp utensils continue to be used long after their short life in the healthcare setting they were manufactured for, by feeding soil and crops, or powering homes and businesses.

When compared to reusable medical utensils, which will either go to landfill or be incinerated when they reach the end of their life, medical pulp utensils seem like an obvious choice; cutting the need for landfill thus reducing the environmental impact.

We understand that in choosing a pulp macerator there is an ongoing investment required with single use utensils, but the truth is, unit for unit, pulp utensils cost significantly less than their plastic or metal counterparts.

Add in the reduced risk of infection associated with single use pulp products and how much this could save each year in staff sickness and potential lawsuits, and the savings should outweigh the long-term costs.

Pulpmatic Ultima with single-use bedpans inside

We’re not wasteful

Our pulp macerators have a quick cycle time, lasting between 65 – 120 seconds (dependent on the model). It is a fast process when compared to a bedpan washer’s cycle time of around 8 minutes. The fast cycle times also save on water and energy consumption.

We also designed our pulp macerators with hands-free technology, which prevents unnecessary contact and helps to prevent the spread of infection. The macerator doesn’t require any further involvement from the clinician other than loading and starting the cycle, which means the clinician’s time is not wasted waiting for lengthy wash cycles and instead can be invested where it should be – caring for patients.

 

Put simply, DDC Dolphin’s pulp macerators save time. On a busy ward that is a valuable asset.

In every sense of the word, pulp macerators are quite simply not wasteful. Rest assured that with the reduced risk of infections, the ease of use and quick cycle times, they are an obvious choice to dispose of waste in your healthcare setting.

Contact our friendly team at DDC Dolphin to talk through your options and find the best infection control solution for you.

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