Hospitals and care homes have to manage human waste properly. It’s key to infection prevention and control. Choosing between reusable and disposable bedpans is an important decision and needs to be considered carefully.
What is a disposable bedpan?
A disposable bedpan is made from pulp material and is designed for single use. You will need a macerator to dispose of these types of bedpans.
What is a reusable bedpan?
These bedpans are generally made of plastic or stainless steel. Healthcare settings choose to use them for patient comfort. To ensure they are safe to reuse, a washer disinfector is required.
What is a macerator?
A macerator disposes of human waste along with single-use pulp containers. It saturates the machine’s contents with water and then uses cutter blades to break it down into a fine slurry. This slurry is then deposited into the sewerage system.
What is a bedpan washer disinfector?
Washer disinfectors are a safe and reliable way of disposing of human waste and cleaning reusable bedpans. They clean and disinfect bedpans to ensure that harmful bacteria such as Escherichia coli are killed, making the bedpan safe for reuse. Not only will it wash and disinfect bedpans but it can also process patient wash bowls, urine bottles, mop buckets, suction bottles, kidney dishes etc.
Should I choose reusable or disposable bedpans?
There are a few things to consider when making a choice between reusable and disposable bedpans.
- Environmental concerns
- Patient preference
Macerators are generally believed to be cheaper to purchase and run. However, that doesn’t make it the most affordable option. With a bedpan washer disinfector, the reusable bedpans can be used for years. When using disposable bedpans, you must consider the ongoing cost of buying them throughout the years. The costs can soon stack up.
Both macerators and washer disinfectors need regular maintenance checks. Macerators can often break due to misuse. Health care settings find that staff put the wrong items into the machines meaning they break down and the disposal of waste is disrupted.
Dekomed provides an after-care service for all washer disinfectors we install. This is to ensure our machines run efficiently and effectively all year round. We try to preempt any issues before they arise to minimise any disruption in the cleaning process.
Macerator cycles are quicker, but only by a few minutes. You need to ensure that used bedpans are not stacking up next to either type of machine, as this can be very dangerous.
Macerators don’t require water to be heated, so less energy is used. However, they do produce more waste. It’s not just human waste that’s being sent to the sewer.
This can overload a sewerage system if you’re not too careful.
Nobody wants to use a bedpan, but they help give patients some dignity when they are ill. You do have to take their preference into account.
On the whole, patients tend to prefer reusable bedpans.
Ask the Experts
Dekomed has been supplying and installing washer disinfectors for over 30 years. We know everything about infection control and how to ensure patients and staff remain safe. It’s what we do every day.
If you are unsure about which option would work best for you or want to know more about our washer disinfector range, give us a call.
We’d be happy to discuss what you need and offer the right advice to help you make the best decision for you and your setting.
Tel: +44 (0)161 483 7333