Escape the red tape of yellow bag waste disposal
How automatic macerators can clean up your hygiene proces
Traditional yellow bag waste disposal poses a number of issues for busy hospitals and care homes. From the unpleasantness of carrying waste bags around wards and communal areas and the cumulative storage of clinical waste in central bins, to the increased infection risk that this procedure poses. The risk caused by unsafe human waste management systems is considerable – yet avoidable.
Yellow bagging human waste and bodily fluid can put your patients, residents and staff at risk of HAIs and outbreaks. There are numerous infection risks associated with yellow bagging including spillage, cross-contamination and insufficient control and incorrect segregation in the overall dirty-to-clean process. These hazards could result in a HAI outbreak, which carries financial implications as well as a compromise on patient safety.
Healthcare workers are also at risk of infection when following yellow bagging procedures. Dangerous pathogens including C. difficile, Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE) and SARS-CoV2 (COVID-19) can all be found in hazardous waste. Using yellow bags extends healthcare workers exposure to this infectious matter.
Medical macerators provide a safe and convenient alternative solution for quickly disposing of human waste. The machines dispose of waste and single-use pulp items such as bedpans in seconds, ensuring any source of infection is eradicated at the point of disposal. Hands-free operation further minimises the risk of spreading dangerous pathogens between surfaces in highly infectious environments.
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Yellow bagging obviously brings with it a risk of spillage and cross-contamination, but there’s a massive ‘bureaucracy’ hangover too. Using hospital macerators also eliminates the timely administrative processes that are necessary when yellow bagging human waste. Nurses, Facilities Managers and NHS Trusts have to continually check the credentials of the organisation collecting the waste, store paperwork for 2 years to prove the waste has been managed appropriately, and take steps to actively prevent anyone from disposing of waste unlawfully once it has left the site.
Finally, medical macerators have a better environmental impact. Disposable pulp containers are made from recycled materials such as overissued newspaper. When broken down with water in a macerator, the fibres are similar to toilet paper and will fully biodegrade in just 6 weeks. This has obvious benefits for the planet versus plastic land-filling and incineration.
With a range of contactless macerators available, there is no need to put patients at risk of infection or waste healthcare workers valuable time. Hospitals, as well as care and nursing homes, can now be completely free of potentially infectious waste within minutes…which begs the question ‘why continue with a risky process that involves collecting and carrying waste around your premises before storing it for hours every day?’