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Redefining Infection Control

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How to Wash Bedpans with a Washer Disinfector

If you’re reading this blog you might be new to using an automated bedpan washer disinfector – perhaps you’ve just had one installed in your hospital sluice/dirty utility/pan room or in your care home. Or maybe you just need a bit of a refresher on how to use your machine correctly to ensure that your reusable utensils are properly emptied, disinfected and dried.

Either way, this handy guide will set out everything you need to do to ensure proper usage and thorough disinfection – to make sure both you and your patients/residents are protected from potentially hazardous infections.

Transportation

All kinds of reusable utensils including slipper pans, bedpans, commode inserts and urinal jugs should be covered whilst being transported to your nearest sluice/dirty utility/pan room. Always wear protective gloves and an apron to keep your clothing clean.

Opening the machine

DDC Dolphin washer disinfectors come equipped with hands-free open and close technology, to prevent the possibility of harmful microbes being transferred from gloves to the machine, which could then be passed on to the next user.

To open the bedpan washer just place your foot inside the foot cup located on the front of the machine at floor level and the lid will open ready for use.

Loading

Before loading, have a quick look inside the machine to make sure it is empty and free of any items which should not be placed in a washer disinfector.

Washer disinfectors are plumbed directly into the sewerage system so you don’t need to empty the utensil before loading it into the washer disinfector. You can use it to dispose of human waste and toilet paper.

Don’t put anything inside that you would not flush down the toilet – for example, gloves, aprons, diapers, wipes, sanitary products, or single use bedpans.

Make sure you load urinals, pots and bedpans into the rack as instructed for your type of machine. The rack aligns the utensils perfectly with the fixed and rotating wash nozzles which have been carefully designed to maximise water and chemical dispersal whilst minimising water wastage. If the bedpans are not properly aligned they might not be properly disinfected.

Another issue with not loading items correctly is that they could slip off the rack, not be properly cleaned, block the wash nozzles, or even jam the door or lid shut.

It’s also very important to make sure you don’t overload the machine. Putting too many items inside will block the path of the water jets and cause utensils to not being properly cleaned.

To make this easy for all users, you should have a picture guide for how to properly load items located near the machine. If you don’t have a guide, get in touch and we will send you the information you need.

Closing and starting the wash cycle

Some machines have a hands-free lid closing function to minimise the risk of infection. Depending on how your machine has been programmed you can either wave your hand over the hands-free sensor, place your foot back inside the foot cup, or just leave the door/lid to close automatically after 10 seconds. Do not close the door/lid by hand.

The wash cycle will start automatically a few seconds later.

If you have a manually operated machine, make sure you wear gloves when operating it to reduce the spread of infection.

Close the door or lid by hand and press the start button.

Faults

The alert light will show if there is a blockage or if you have run out of pre/post wash chemical. If the light is on when you come to use the machine, get in touch with your estates/facilities department who will be able to correct the issue. Should you require further assistance, DDC Dolphin are able to
service and maintain all makes and models of washer disinfectors as well as our own.

After the wash cycle has finished

You don’t need to monitor the machine during the wash cycle. A digital display will indicate the temperature inside the chamber.

You will know the cycle is finished when the green light is displayed next to the thumbs up symbol. The bedpan washer disinfector uses steam to heat the chamber to 80 degrees Celsius for 60 seconds – which is known to kill 99.9% of known micro-organisms.

You can now open the machine with the foot cup.

Items will now be cool to the touch and can be removed and placed on your sluice room’s storage rack.

Cleaning

The outer surfaces of the machine should be cleaned daily to remove any microbes which might be residing on the outside of the machine. DDC Dolphin machines also come with antimicrobial coatings to prevent any harmful microbes which do land on the surfaces from multiplying and spreading.

You should clean the machine lid/door, seals and other outer surfaces with a mild, non-abrasive detergent such as our Hygenex surface spray sanitiser.

To do this, open the lid with the foot cup and switch off the power to prevent the lid from closing during cleaning.

Spray a clean cloth with sanitiser and wipe the outer surfaces, around the lower rim of the lid, and the rubber seal.

Turn the power back on. If you have an auto-close lid it will close by itself. If you have a manual machine, close the lid and the machine is then ready for the next person to use.

The machine’s chemical levels should also be checked on a daily basis.

If you need any other help with your bedpan washer’s operation or maintenance, please get in touch with the DDC Dolphin team.