The only real difference between bedpan washers and pulp macerators is that the maceration cycle is shorter than a bedpan washer disinfection cycle, but only by a few minutes.
Because of the way bedpan washers and pulp macerators work you may find that bedpan washers, by design, are slightly more versatile in terms of where you can install them.
The majority of pulp macerators are freestanding, which can prove a challenge if space is at a premium in an existing sluice/dirty utility/pan room.
Because some bedpan washers are front loading you have the option of fitting them either on or under counters, utilising space very efficiently.
It’s worth noting; these models tend to have a smaller capacity so won’t always be the best option depending on where in your facility you’d like them to go.
Ultimately an infection control solution is designed to do one thing and one thing only: reduce or eliminate risk.
Of course, it’s almost impossible to eliminate risk entirely as even the most effective cleaning solutions only eliminate 99.9̉% of harmful microbes. Granted that doesn’t leave much left but what’s left is usually the really bad stuff.
Bedpan washers and pulp macerators are designed to keep the risk to the clinician to an absolute minimum and to either effectively disinfect a reusable utensil or dispose of a pulp one.
Where they differ – quite obviously – is pulp macerators go through a disposal process meaning clinicians do not have to handle anything once the utensil has been placed in the chamber.
This means clinicians are not handling anything subsequently, so a single use bedpan or other pulp utensil further minimises the risk. But of course there is an ongoing cost as those utensils need to be replaced.
Bedpan washers disinfect reusable utensils which re-enter circulation after the disinfection cycle is complete. The utensils are cleaned with water heated to 80 degrees to ensure that any harmful microbes on the surface of the bedpan are killed.
The potential risk is if some material wasn’t fully washed away there is a chance harmful microbes could be passed to other patients or clinicians.
However, providing infection control procedures are observed and the bedpan washer itself is properly maintained then the risk to both clinicians and patients is at a minimum.
Ultimately both bedpan washers and pulp macerators are designed to effectively prevent the spread of infection either through disposal or disinfection. Both have clear benefits but not necessarily to the detriment of the other.
One of the big advantages of pulp macerators is they are a ‘fire and forget’ solution that can afford greater efficiency and a reduced risk of infection. Ideal for high traffic wards.
Bedpan washers are designed to cope with high volumes of reusable utensils to be disinfected and many patients prefer to use plastic or metal bedpans over pulp as they feel they are more robust.
Although not a deciding factor, the preference of the patient or resident is important to consider.
Whichever infection control solution you believe is right for your facility, DDC Dolphin can help.