Cleaning reusable bedpans by hand is not advisable.
Aside from the fact that it’s a very unpleasant task for clinicians, cleaning bedpans by hand is more than unpleasant; it’s extremely unsanitary and exposes both patients and staff to dire infection risks.
Risk can be reduced by carefully managing your healthcare institution’s practices; for example, only emptying bedpans into slop hoppers in the sluice/dirty utility room (as opposed to a regular bathroom).
However, even when reasonable infection control measures are in place, washing bedpans by hand is always going to create a risk of infection.
In order to efficiently disinfect these items, water must reach a temperature of at least 165 degrees, which is difficult to ascertain when merely using a water outlet with no temperature gauge, and items must be soaked in a disinfectant solution for several minutes.
Water spray arms carry a high risk of causing splashback which not only leads to workplace contamination but aerosolises bacteria, further exposing to staff and patients to infection. In addition, staff in such environments are always pressed for time, and may not leave bedpans in the disinfection solution for the time required to fully sterilise the item.
In order to avoid devastating HCAIs such as C. diff and MRSA, healthcare institutions must evolve from manual bedpan washing if they haven’t already.
A washer disinfector is the most efficient way to clean reusable bedpans and prevent the spread of infection.
Efficient, reliable and cost-effective, a bedpan washer disinfector will kill bacteria and thus help to keep your facility safe.
Available to suit a variety of sluice room sizes, washer disinfectors can either be front or top-loading, to make maximum use of space; to this effect, they can be found in all kinds of institutions, from care homes to major city hospitals.
Using fixed and rotating wash nozzles, the wash array is carefully designed to maximise dispersal whilst minimising water wastage; in addition, the cycles are short enough to facilitate busy wards.
To assist with impeccable hygiene standards, all DDC Dolphin washer disinfectors are equipped with hands-free technology, to avoid any unnecessary touch and prevent the spread of infection therein. Similarly, the machines also feature antimicrobial technology and crevice-free surfaces, offering microbes nowhere to hide or grow.
To further add to the versatility of a washer disinfector, the Maxi+ model includes an exclusive rimflush feature, which allows clinicians to safely dispose of the contents of buckets before bedpans are cleaned.
In addition, you can be reassured that bedpans will always reach the required heat to kill bacteria when you choose to use a washer disinfector and keep it regularly maintained. The thermal disinfection technology used in each machine is fully compliant with the latest standards and guidelines, including HTM2030.
It’s not too late, however, to consider a disposable solution for your infection control needs.
More and more healthcare institutions are choosing to use disposable pulp products for human waste collection and disposal.
A sustainable item made of recycled materials, pulp products collect waste before being completely disposed of in a macerator; this removes the need for bedpan washing entirely.
The risk of spreading infection is massively reduced when there’s no danger of a poorly-cleaned reusable item coming into a contact with a patient. When you consider the cost that an HCAI outbreak will have on your facility (both financially, and that of reputation), it may well be worth the switch from re-usable items to a new, robust method of infection control.
If you’d like to find out more about DDC Dolphin’s exceptional range of infection control equipment, please contact us today.