The management of healthcare waste is an essential part of ensuring that hospital and care home activities do not pose a risk of infection.
HCAIs (healthcare associated infections) are illnesses that are acquired as a direct result of medical intervention. Of course, we want every patient to feel better because of their care, not worse – so every effort must be made to prevent the spread of dangerous pathogens in the healthcare environment.
Disposing of medical waste responsibly is a key element of keeping clinicians and patients safe.
To manage healthcare waste effectively, you need to consider:
- Infection control and health and safety legislation
- Environment and waste legislation
- Transport legislation.
Standards within the UK, as well as the rest of the world, are well regulated. In England, failure to comply will be acted upon by the CQC, so it’s important to be prepared for regular inspections and demonstrate that your waste is well-managed.
Of course, the best way to be prepared is to form habits that you adhere to every day. Effective prevention and control of infection must be part of daily practice at your facility and applied consistently by everyone.
Systems should be in place to ensure that the HCAI risks caused by waste present in the environment are properly managed, and that duties under environmental law are observed. One of the most important is your duty to control polluting emissions in the air.
If you use pulp macerators to dispose of human waste and disposable bedpans, you’re already taking positive steps. Pulpmatic macerators, for example, provide excellent infection control benefits including antimicrobial surfaces, hands-free operation and automatic lid closures. By not needing to touch or lean over the machine, aerosolised bacteria are responsibly contained - but there are other considerations, too.
If your macerator isn’t close to the point of care, bacteria has a higher opportunity to enter the environment.
There are many reasons why a macerator may not be located close to the patient’s bedside.
Perhaps the area needs to be kept quiet, like a nursery – or maybe you have patients in isolation rooms.
When bedpans are moved from one area of your facility to another, the chance that bacteria will enter the environment increases. However, there are extremely effective waste disposal solutions that can bridge the gap between the safety of maceration and the convenience of care provision.
Vacumatic allows you to dispose of waste quickly, easily and hygienically, even in areas where bedpan washer or pulp macerator use is not possible.
Vacumatic uses a high-quality medical filter to suck air from disposal bags, completely removing bad odours and bacteria from the extruded air and condensing waste into tightly sealed packages.
Simply empty the waste into an airtight bag and Vacumatic will hermetically seal the contaminated material, ready for safe and easy disposal in the appropriate bin.
If your facility relies on single-use products such as pulp bedpans, bedpan liners, incontinence pads or nappies, Vacumatic offers a convenient and highly effective solution for when maceration is not an option.
- Completely hands-free, reducing the risk of cross-contamination
- Suitable for use in combination with all types of disposable bedpans, incontinence pads, nappies and other waste such as handtowels and tissues
- Exceptionally economical, reducing waste volume by 50%
- Extremely quiet, using a validated air valve fitted with a medical bacteria filter
- A safe and efficient alternative to bedpan washers and macerators.
Vacumatic is a complete waste management solution which complements and uplifts the infection control benefits of existing macerator or bedpan washer strategies.