If you work in a hospital, care home or special school you’ll know how important your method of human waste disposal is to your infection control strategy.
That’s why it’s so vital to keep your waste disposal equipment in good working order and avoid breakdowns to prevent the possibility of an infection outbreak in your facility.
For pulp macerators, one of the most common causes of faults or breakdowns is when the machine gets jammed or blocked because someone has placed something inside which cannot be disposed of with a pulp macerator.
Not only could this prove costly to repair, with emergency engineer callouts and possibly replacement parts, but it’s also costly in terms of reduced productivity if your clinicians have to travel further to find a sluice room with working equipment. Learn more about the true cost of breakdowns here.
Financial costs aside, the potential impact a breakdown could have on your staff and patients’ health is also significant. The further a member of staff has to travel with a soiled bedpan, the more opportunities there are for an infection to spread. Furthermore, if they don’t have an alternative sluice/dirty utility room to use, they may have to resort to using yellow bags to dispose of the waste, which is a much less hygienic and less efficient option.
Keeping your pulp macerator operational should therefore be a top priority. One way you can prevent breakdowns is to ensure that all of your staff who may operate the machine know what they can and cannot dispose of inside it.
What Can I Dispose Of In A Pulp Macerator?
There are just four things that can safely be disposed of via a pulp macerator, so it should be quite straightforward for staff to remember:
- Any kind of medical pulp product – DDC Dolphin’s macerators can shred any kind of pulp product; bedpans, urine bottles, bowls, kidney dishes, slipper pans… we could go on. They are also capable of disposing of any brand of pulp product, not just our own brand pulp containers.
- Human waste – any kind of bodily fluid or waste, such as blood, vomit, urine or faeces.
- Toilet paper – used after toileting or to clean up blood or vomit.
- Maceratable wipes – this point is probably the most important, as you need to be certain if your wipes are maceratable or not. Some wipes can be finely shredded in a macerator, but others have woven fibres which make them too tough to be effectively macerated, and as such may end up blocking the pipes. The wipes’ packaging should say if they are maceratable or not.
What Can’t I Dispose Of In A Pulp Macerator?
Some of the most common items which people wrongly try to dispose of in a pulp macerator include:
- Towels or cleaning cloths – their fibres are too tough to be shredded by a pulp macerator, and as such they will just wrap around the machine’s blades and jam it.
- Personal protective equipment – such as aprons and disposable gloves. Whilst these should be disposed of after each patient/resident contact, they need to go in the bin – not in your pulp macerator. Only biodegradable items should be disposed of in this way.
- Sanitary/incontinence pads or diapers – a standard pulp macerator cannot be used to shred these items. However, DDC Dolphin produce the Incomatic Incontinence Macerator which has specially designed blades to ensure efficient and effective shredding of these kinds of items.
- Non-maceratable wipes – some wipes cannot be effectively shredded by a pulp macerator. If you have any doubt over your kind of wipes, it’s safer to throw them away in your usual sanitary waste bins.
- Syringes, metal, plastic, etc. – again, if it’s not biodegradable, it should not go in a pulp macerator. Make sure none of these items remain in your pulp bedpan before you place it inside the machine.
If you need any further advice on how to take care of your machine, have suffered a breakdown, or are looking at purchasing a new pulp macerator, DDC Dolphin are here to help.