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Redefining Infection Control

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Pulp Macerators – What to Consider

As a means of infection control pulp macerators are – relatively speaking – the new kid on the block.

Before bedpan washer disinfectors, bedpans were washed by hand and – in fact – in some parts of the world still are.

The unpleasantness aside, washing bedpans by hand posed (and poses) a major risk to both the clinician and the patient who used it next.

Infection control technology represents a lifesaving revolution in the fight against infectious disease.

The pulp macerator is a departure from the more traditional bedpan washer as the maceration of the bedpan – and its contents – and subsequent disposal makes it a viable infection control solution for most clinical or care settings.

However, it’s important to have all the facts ahead of making a purchase, so here are the key benefits and a few things to consider:

Benefits

Anti-Blockage  
  • Thanks to the option of a pre-wash cycle and the fact the machine sprays the utensil – as opposed to filling the chamber with water – the chances of blockages are minimal. Providing you haven’t overloaded it of course.
  • Our macerators are designed to pulverise the pulp utensil into small particles only a few millimetres in size before being flushed into the drains.
Antimicrobial Coating  
  • This means you can use pulp macerators more or less anywhere, including a standard sluice/dirty utility/pan room, isolation units or private patient rooms.
  • Pulp macerators are treated with an antimicrobial coating which prevents any harmful microbes from growing on its surfaces.
Hands-free Technology  
  • It’s worth noting that not all makes and models of macerators have this feature, but it represents a significant benefit in your infection control efforts.
  • Working in concert with the antimicrobial coating, our pulp macerators offer hands free technology which means that transfer of anything harmful from the unit to the clinician is kept to an absolute minimum.
‘Fire and Forget’
  • During the course of a day this can represent significant time saved and improved productivity.The entire cycle also only lasts 2 minutes saving considerable water and energy.
  • Because a pulp macerator does not need emptying at the end of the cleaning cycle your clinicians are able to load the machine, start the waste disposal cycle and then continue with their duties.
Reduced Risk to Patients   
  • With the fight against infection more important than ever due to infections like C. Diff, this is vitally important.
  • This means that there is next to no risk (barring external factors) of your patients contracting an infectious disease from using a pulp bedpan.
  • Because pulp macerators dispose of bedpans rather than put them through a cleaning cycle, the bedpans are single use.
Noise Levels  
  • Coupled with the short disposal cycle it makes it an incredibly flexible unit suitable across care homes and hospitals.
  • Much like our bedpan washers, the pulp macerator operates at a little under 60 decibels which is comparable to the sound level of normal conversation.

Considerations

Space   
  • If you are replacing an existing piece of equipment – and remodelling your sluice/dirty utility/pan room isn’t an option – then an alternative model or solution may be more appropriate.
  • However, providing you’ve taken this into consideration when designing your sluice/dirty utility/pan room then it shouldn’t pose a problem.
  • Other than our wall recessed pulp macerator, the vast majority of pulp macerators are top loading. This means that they can occupy quite a lot space. For obvious reasons they are also unsuitable for installation in areas where there is poor lid clearance or under units and counters.
Cost
  • The costs of macerators and bedpan washers are comparable, however the cost to operate – due to reduced energy and water consumption and the low cost of pulp utensils verses reusable – makes it highly cost effective throughout its lifetime of service.
Vulnerable to Misuse  
  • Without due care and attention pulp macerators can be overloaded causing blockages and equipment failure.
  • Unlike a bedpan washer disinfector, pulp macerators don’t have trays or racks. This means it isn’t quite as obvious to tell when the machine is full.
  • Although this isn’t a fault of the machine, it’s worth emphasising the load capacity to clinicians/colleagues during training. DDC Dolphin offer this training to your clinicians and care staff for best practice operational procedures and infection control when operating in a sluice/dirty utility room environment.

Pulp macerators are a robust, practical solution towards infection control, however, the equipment needs to meet your requirements in terms of space, budgets and – to an extent – what your patients or residents would be happiest with.

Whilst infection control policy shouldn’t be dictated by residents it is worth considering that some may not want to use pulp bedpan or other utensils and respecting their wishes is an important part of the person-centred approach.

That said, you need to ensure that the solution you choose will provide the best level of infection control possible.

Contact us today and one of our team can talk through your options and together we can find the best infection control solution for you.