Vernacare is a leading, UK manufacturer of pulp and single-use medical solutions. The Specimen Collector is taking the place of the previous Mid-Stream Sampler, to continue providing medical facilities around the world with a single-use solution, to collecting both urine and stool samples from a variety of patients, including geriatric patients, pregnant women, children, post-operation patients more, effectively.

 

Testing Specimens

Within healthcare facilities around the world there is a need to test and examine stools and urine. When a patient is suffering from an illness there are often signs of harmful bacteria or viruses present when passing urine or faeces. 

Testing specimens is necessary on multiple wards with a variety of patients having to provide specimens for testing when they are unwell. This includes post-surgery wards, paediatric, geriatric and maternity wards. Providing specimens helps healthcare professionals to ensure patients are being treated effectively and receive the utmost care.

 

The Problem: Plastic Specimen Collectors

Utilising a plastic system presents multiple problems. There is a higher risk of cross-infection as bedpan washer malfunctions are not always obvious to users and therefore may go unnoticed. This puts every patient at risk of contracting a HCAI when using a reusable receptacle. 

Plastic receptacles impact the environment significantly. Currently, they contribute to the 150 million metric tonnes currently circulating in our oceans when they are disposed of, threatening the existence of underwater life2. A bedpan washer requires the use of chemicals, polluting the environments we live in. 

Using a reusable bedpan carries an increased risk of transmitting bacteria, including CRE, VRE, and C.Difficile which have developed resistance to some antibiotics. The impact of antibiotic resistance leads to an increase in medical costs, prolonged hospital stays, and increased patient mortality.

 

Single-Use Solution

Made from biodegradable, over-issued newspaper, the Specimen Collector is a single-use disposable receptacle that allows for the safe and simple collections of both urine and stool.

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that “equipment should be single-use and disposable”1. To this day, multiple countries are still using a single-use plastics toileting system that cannot be broken down and is often sent to landfill, treating it as a secondary sewerage plant.

The Specimen Collector comprised of cellulose fibres is fully biodegradable and can enter the drain lines – once macerated – without issue. With COVID-19 still circulating around the world, studies have shown around 50% of patients infected with COVID-19 have the virus present within their urine and faeces, where it is able to survive for up to 2 days3.

Paired with our hospital macerators, the Vortex+ or the Compact+, SmartflowTM Technology ensures the specimen collector and either stool or urine is broken down and reduced prior to releasing into the drain, so users are confident that no blockages will occur. This feature significantly reduces the amount of clinical waste and reduces the spread of infection in a healthcare environment.

 

     

Urine Sample Pot vs The Specimen Collector

The Specimen Collector has ease-of-use and simplicity in the heart of the design, allowing for simple urine collections after a patient has used the receptacle. The shape and design of the Specimen Collector allows the patient to pass their urine without the need for adjusting their position, they can sit on the toilet and pass as they normally would without having to reach down and collecting into a plastic vial. 

Collecting urine in a plastic, collection pot risks exposing both the patient and healthcare professional to splashed-back urine on the outside of the pot, risking cross-contamination if there are any viruses present in the patient’s urine. 

When the medical professional has collected a urine sample from a patient, they can be confident due to an addition of a ‘pee-track’, which allows for easy pouring into a secondary receptacle or test vial. This small feature helps to ensure the dignity of both the patient and the medical professional too.

Paired with this is an integrated volume graduations of up to 700ml, so healthcare professionals are able to roughly identify the volume of urine that has been passed by a patient. The Specimen Collector is capable of holding up to 1 Litre of fluid, so nurses can be confident all the urine required for a test will be collected.

When the medical professional has collected a urine sample from a patient, they can be confident due to an addition of a ‘pee-track’, which allows for easy pouring into a secondary receptacle or test vial. This small feature helps to ensure the dignity of both the patient and the medical professional too.

Paired with this is an integrated volume graduations of up to 700ml, so healthcare professionals are able to roughly identify the volume of urine that has been passed by a patient. The Specimen Collector is capable of holding up to 1 Litre of fluid, so nurses can be confident all the urine required for a test will be collected.

 

Multi-Purpose Receptacle to Prevent Infection

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, the testing procedure for COVID-19 can in some instances be invasive for patients and can trigger a gag reflex, potentially leading to vomiting. The flat edges of the Specimen Collector allow it to be used as a vomit bowl by resting it directly on the chest.

Similarly to the COVID testing procedure, dentistry procedures again can be invasive and often requires the patient to spit into a bowl. As the Specimen Collector is single-use, if the patient should have a virus present with their system, including COVID-19, this will significantly reduce the chance of spreading the virus as the Specimen Collector will be disposed of straight after, providing a simple, yet effective solution to infection control.

The Specimen Collector can be used as a mid-stream sampler, to help reduce the amount of unreliable, false-positive urine collections.

Contact us for further information. We have Spanish, French & Japanese speakers available, feel free to write in your local language.

References: 

1: Infection prevention and control during health care when novel coronavirus (nCoV) infection is suspected Interim guidance 25 January 2020 WHO/2019-nCoV/IPC/v2020.2 (Document - 20200126-ncov-ipc-during-health-care)

2: https://oceanconservancy.org/trash-free-seas/plastics-in-the-ocean/ 

3: Repici et al (2020). Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak: what the department of endoscopy should know.  Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (In press)

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