We all value cleanliness, it’s good for self-esteem and social acceptance. It reduces germs on the skin, and leaves us smelling fresh. It helps maintain skin integrity and avoid breakdown or infection. Cleanliness is important, but cleanliness is also a challenge.
In geriatric and immobile patients, skin can become less resilient, less elastic and thinner due to the loss of subdermal fat. That means the skin may be more sensitive and prone to injury including pressure ulcers thus making the need to take special care is it that much more important.
The practise of good patient hygiene is mandatory however the traditional basin bathing method may be preventing the patient from receiving the best possible care. Medline has developed a complete bathing system that is a gentle, hypoallergenic, eliminates cross contamination and is cost effective. Patient bathing is a habitual need and Medline is offering a product that will do more than keep them clean and happy, it will keep patients healthy.
Issues with Traditional Basin Bathing
Although numerous sources within a hospital can cause nosocomial outbreaks perhaps the most overlooked, important and controllable source of nosocomial pathogens is hospital water.² Pathogens can create potent biofilms in hospital pipes, hot water tanks and sink sand faucets.³ Minimising exposure to tap water is inexpensive and effective.
Bed bathing typically uses soap, tap water, and other cleansers. However, the bath and products used may vary from one caregiver to another which can yield different results. This lack of consistency can lead to confusion and misinterpretation by the patient or their family.
Healthcare linens such as washcloths are usually purchased with value in mind, so they’re often not the softest textiles available. Rough when new, the shredding cotton fibers during extreme laundering conditions add to the potential for abrasiveness on delicate skin. Basin baths also require towels and additional bed linens due to drips and spills making more work and time for the healthcare professional.
¹ Johnson D, Lineweaver L, Maze L. Patients’ bath basins as potential sources of infection: a multicenter sampling study. Am. J Crit Care. 2009; 18:31-40.
² Anaissie E, Penzak S, Digani C. The hospital water supply as a source of nosocomial infections. Arch intern Med. 2002;162:1483-1492.
³ Exner M, Kramer A, Lajoie L, et al. Prevention and control of health care associated waterborne infections in health care facilities. Am J Infect Control. 2005;33:S26-S40.
Why Use Wipes
The use of disposable wipes eliminates the disadvantages of basins, tap water, used linens, and inconsistent product use. Single use packs minimise the risk of cross contamination because there is no use of a bath basin or re-dipping of washcloths causing a potential bacterial burden. Reducing the patient contact with shared patient supplies, such as the basin, will decrease their possibility of exposure to bacteria.
The tap water used in patient bathing could also be a potential cause of nosocomial outbreaks, decreasing contact with it is inexpensive yet effective.¹ Using disposable wipes eradicates the need for tap water.
With wipes there would be no need to carry heavy water filled basins to patient rooms, no chance of spilling and creating hazardous walk areas in the hospital. There would be no need for dipping and wringing out of linens making for a faster prep and clean giving the healthcare professional more time to tend to other important things.
Using a single use wipe ensures that the cloth will be soft and gentle on the skin. Wipes have not gone through the same wear and tear from repeated use that the cloths in traditional basin bathing have. Patient comfort should be of the utmost importance. Using a rough and frayed cloth on already fragile skin could be uncomfortable and may cause further damage.
¹ Anaissie E, Penzak S, Digani C. The hospital water supply as a source of nonsocial infections. Arch intern Med. 2002;162:1483-1492
Medline Patient Cleansing Products
Medline knows that not one wipe can substitute for a bath and that is why we have developed a complete and comprehensive bedside bathing system that is user friendly, cost effective and preferred by patients.
EasyBath provides a comforting, consistent and clinically effective bedside bath and is available as impregnated cloths or wash mitts. It helps keep skin feeling healthy because it’s no rinse formulation cleans and moisturises without stripping the skin.
EasyBath® Shampoo Caps
EasyBath shampoo caps clean and condition hair, leaving it fresh and ready for styling. Without the spills and hassle of the basins, suds, rinsing and repositioning, EasyBath scented and unscented shampoo caps make clean hair trouble-free.
Personal Clean Up
Medline also offers other options of quick and easy to use wipes. One being the Aloetouch® spunlace scented wipes with a Flip N Seal™ closure to keep the wipes fresh for weeks. Aloetouch is the choice for people who want a little more in their cleansing wipe. The gentle sulfate-free cleansing solution and aloe-rich skin conditioners are good for several types of clean up situations. You may find that when using Aloetouch you use fewer wipes to get the job done.
Another wipe in Medline’s catalog is the ReadyFlush® flushable wipe. Anything that fits down a toilet might be called flushable, but what makes ReadyFlush different is that it’s totally dispersible. Just like toilet paper, the wipe breaks down when it is flushed and does not clog the toilet. It is 98% biodegradable and safe for sewers and septic tanks. ReadyFlush is scented and strong enough for a vigorous cleaning, while its mild formula is soothing for the skin.
The EasyBath intelligent warmer is designed for the ultimate comfort in patient care. EasyBath Intelligent Warmers keep EasyBath packs at an even, safe temperature for a nice warm bath. Indicator lights glow when the temperature is reached. It even helps track inventory: it indicates the freshest pack to take, maintaining a FIFO (First in, First Out) stock rotation.