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New washbowl aims to combat hospital infections

Vernacare : 14 May, 2007  (New Product)
Trafford General Hospital has become one of the first hospitals in the UK to introduce the new single use Vernacare's Vernaclean washbowl.
Trafford General Hospital has abandoned its use of plastic washbowls in its bid to continue the fight against infections such as Clostridium difficile, MRSA and Norovirus (diarrhoea and vomiting).

The Vernaclean washbowl is the first medical pulp product capable of holding both soap and warm water and it is maceratable after use.

Prior to general release of the washbowl in March 2007, Trafford Healthcare NHS Trust hospital was one of four Trusts to conduct ward evaluations of the product.
Sister Jay Turner-Gardner, Infection control specialist nurse, who led the Trafford evaluation, said: 'Our four week trial of the new soap proof pulp wash bowl was a great success'.

'The concept of a single-use wash bowl from an Infection control perspective is excellent, as it rules out the risk of cross infection from re-used plastic wash bowls and ensures that every patient gets a clean bowl every time'.
'It also eliminates the time nurses spend trying to effectively clean and dry plastic wash bowls between uses'.

The pulp bowls have also proved effective in hospital housekeeping, with domestics and nursing staff using them for the final clean of surfaces after patients with known or suspected Infections have been discharged.
After each single use the bowls can be disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner using cold-water maceration.

Turner-Gardner added: 'Nurses everywhere have been seeking a solution to the infection risk posed by plastic wash bowls that are re-used without being cleaned and dried thoroughly, especially in places like intensive care where they may not be heat disinfected or terminally disinfected with a chlorine releasing agent before being issued to the next patient'.

'At last we have a viable alternative'.

'This is a positive step forward in Infection control as the technology which allows this new washbowl to work is not used in standard pulp products which cannot hold warm soapy water'.

Ward evaluations of the Vernaclean bowls across four NHS trusts captured user feedback from 92 nurses; showing 98.5 percent agreement that the bowl would reduce the likelihood of infection, while 93.2 percent said that the product saved nurse time.

Trials in North American hospitals have been equally positive.

Vernacare, which is the UK's leading medical pulp manufacturer, has been developing its detergent-proof pulp technology for more than two years and has patented the design and formulation.
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