>Bedpans inside Panamatic Maxi Bedpan Washer

Why Bedpans Are Important

No one enjoys going to hospital (unless you work there).

As we get older the reasons become more serious and the recovery time takes longer. In those instances of severe ill-health or invasive surgery, to the infirm that takes getting about from hard to insurmountable.

Accidents that result in a major injury can mean months of incapacitation and discomfort.

For these patients the luxury of moving under their own locomotion is denied, so something as simple as going to the toilet is utterly out of the question.

As such, the provision of a bedpan or urinal bottle is a critical part of their care. Regularly asking a patient if they need to use a bedpan or urinal bottle ensures they are comfortable and avoids the soiling of bedding and bed clothes.

Needless to say any soiling that occurs presents an infection risk to clinicians and other patients on the ward, not to mention the discomfort to the patient as they have to be moved and changed. Depending on the reason for their stay in hospital, this could be extremely painful.

Stripping soiled bedding brings with it its own risk of infection as harmful microbes can get into the air and cause an infection outbreak.

Panamatic Optima3 with bedpans loaded

However, the clinical aspect aside, the other concern needs to be for the patient’s dignity.

Soiling oneself is embarrassing. From the moment we learn, as children, to use the toilet independently having an ‘accident’ is a humiliating experience, the feeling of which only gets worse with age.

This is especially difficult for older people as it serves as a reminder of the challenges they face surrounding their health and what that means for their future.

Whilst failing to provide adequate care is unpleasant and potentially hazardous to patients and clinicians alike, a patient forced to soil themselves is degrading and unforgiveable. Having adequate provision is vital.

It’s also important to determine which hospital bedpan is right for your setting. Whilst there is a choice on the market of metal, plastic and pulp bedpans, some will be more suitable than others, depending on the setting.

Metal reusable bedpans, for example, are noisy when in use but are incredibly durable. A reusable plastic bedpan or single use pulp bedpan on a busy ward could preserve the dignity of a patient far better than a metal one.

Close up of medical pulp urine bottles2

Recognising the right bedpan for the end user is as much a part of their care as regularly offering them the use of one in the first place.

Making sure this level of care and consideration is in place ensures that the individual has the trust they placed in your hospital or care home rewarded.

Of course, the practicalities have to play a part as well. Making sure you have sufficient bedpans and adequate sluice/dirty utility facilities is critical to both infection control and providing a high level of care to your patients.

Your sluice/dirty utility room solution needs to be able to cope with the demand of either washing reusable utensils or macerating and disposing of pulp utensils. It also needs to do so in such a way that doesn’t cause a back log of soiled pans.

The longer bedpans go unwashed or disposed of, the greater the risk to the clinicians who come in close proximity to them.

Depending on the clinical setting, the safest solution maybe to choose single use, pulp bedpans and macerate them. Clinicians can quickly and safely dispose of any hazardous waste with the added benefit of not having to wait for a cleaning cycle to finish.


This means they can focus on delivering care or supporting patients with their needs rather than worrying about the rotation and adequate cleaning of reusable bedpans.

Whatever the solution that fits your needs and the needs of your patients, it has to begin with a process, and that process has to include defined outcomes such as a properly planned and fitted sluice/dirty utility room.

DDC Dolphin can provide you with infection control consultancy services and a complete solution for your sluice/dirty utility room.

To discover more about our unique bedpan washer and pulp macerator solutions, get in touch today.

Have you seen these related articles?

Get expert help with infection prevention and control