A hospital macerator is a human waste disposal machine, found in sluice rooms (sometimes known as dirty utility rooms or soiled utility rooms), designed to hygienically dispose of single use pulp containers, human waste, toilet tissue and maceratable wipes. A macerator works by first saturating the contents of the machine with water and then breaking it down with cutter blades into a fine slurry. At the end of the cycle, the machine discharges this waste to the drain and the inside of the machine is rinsed with clean water.
Hospital macerators are the most hygienic method of human waste disposal. The alternative method is to use plastic or stainless-steel bedpans, that have to be cleaned by hand or in a bedpan washer, before being reused by other patients. This is an unpleasant task for healthcare professionals, and as many bedpan washers do not reach the optimal temperature to thoroughly disinfect and eradicate any harmful microorganisms, it also puts patients at risk of cross infection.
Using macerators and single use items ensures that every bedpan and its contents can be safely disposed of, whilst a brand new bedpan can be used for the next patient. The use of disposables has been further advocated by the World Health Organization during the COVID-19 pandemic who stated that “equipment should be single-use and disposable¹” to minimise the risk of transmission.
How do you use a hospital macerator?
Vernacare have developed hospital macerators which incorporate hands-free technology to limit the risk of cross-contamination. This technology allows the lid of our disposal machines to easily open using a foot sensor. Disposable single-use items, such as bedpans, urinals, and bowls should then be placed into the machine one at a time. Once the cycle is ready to begin, activation of the foot sensor will cause the lid to close and lock. The cycle will then be initiated automatically and make an audible sound.
The length of the disposal cycle varies between each model of macerator, and lasts usually between 2 & 3 minutes. A healthcare professional does not need to be present during this time, allowing them to spend their valuable time caring for patients. Once the cycle is completed, the machine will make a sound and will display a message on the screen to let users know it is ready for its next cycle.
What can I put inside a hospital macerator?
The only items that should be disposed of in a hospital macerator are:
1. Single-use pulp products such as disposable bedpans, washbowls and urinals. Be careful which pulp you use, as pulp varies by manufacturer, with some manufacturers not using fully biodegradable materials or following strict quality standards. At Vernacare we have high quality standards, to ensure every product is safe and effective to use.
2. Human waste including faeces, vomit and urine.
3. Maceratable wipes, be certain that any wipes you dispose of are maceratable and do not contain plastics such as polypropylene. If the wipes do contain plastic, they will not break down in the macerator or sewer system like toilet roll and pulp do, consequently causing drain blockages.
4. VernaGel a dry granule with rapid absorption properties which can be used with pulp items to stabilise bodily fluids and other medical waste into an easily transportable gel, that makes carrying items to the sluice room easier.
5. Toilet tissue
Placing other items such as personal protective equipment and non-maceratable wipes in the macerator can cause drain blockages. To minimise the misuse of these machines, Vernacare provide visual posters which can be positioned close by informing users of what can and can’t be inserted.
What are the benefits of a Vernacare hospital macerator?
Not all hospital macerators are the same. Vernacare macerators all incorporate our patented SmartflowTM technology to help ensure that your drains remain free-flowing and do not become clogged. SmartflowTM uses a unique closed-drum system, which ensures that water is pumped into a completely sealed drum and is not released until the end of the cycle. This differs to other macerators available, which use an open drum system.
The benefits of our closed-drum system include:
- Waste is only released to the drain once it has been broken down into a fine consistency, ensuring no dry or bulky material can enter the drains.
- At the end of the cycle, the waste is discharged at a velocity 4x faster than alternative open drum machines, helping to ensure your drains do not get blocked.
Vernacare hospital macerator range
With a range of options to suit your facilities needs, find out which macerator would be best suited to you.
Compact+: The Compact+ is Vernacare’s most advanced hospital macerator. The machine has an easy to clean aesthetic design, which helps to save space in crowded sluice rooms. Our Compact+ macerator is able to dispose of up to 4 pulp items in a 3-minute cycle.
Compact: The Compact hospital macerator is ideal for low usage areas such as patient bathrooms and isolation rooms, to minimise the transportation of used bedpans/urinals to sluice rooms. The macerator can dispose of 1 pulp item in a 3-minute cycle.
Vortex+: The Vortex+ has the quickest cycle time, making it ideal for busy sluice rooms. The machines take just 2 minutes to dispose of up to 4 pulp items. The Vortex+ is also completely contactless.
We are here to help! For further advice on Vernacare’s hospital macerators and how they might suit your healthcare facilities infection control needs, please contact us today: