A kidney dish (British English) or emesis basin (American English) is a shallow basin with a kidney-shaped footprint and sloping walls (hence its alternate name) used in medical and surgical wards to receive soiled dressings and other medical waste. Reusable kidney dishes are usually made of stainless steel, while disposable ones may be made of paper pulp or plastic. The shape of the dish allows it to be held against the patient's body to catch any falling fluids or debris. Various sizes of emesis basin are a common sight in healthcare settings, including facilities such as nursing homes that may have bedridden patients. The disposable version of the kidney dish was invented by Bessie Virginia Blount.
The disposable molded pulp kidney dish is replacing the stainless steel dish because one-use-only products can decrease cross-communication of disease.
Generally, the volume of a pulp kidney dish (or "vomit dish") is 700 ml. Its length is 25 cm-26 cm, its width 11 cm. Each year more than 100 million pulp kidney dishes are used in hospital or family care.
Contrary to its name, emesis basins are not usually used for vomiting, as the depth, size, and sloping walls all contribute to spilling or splashing the vomit rather than catching it. For this purpose, a plastic bag or wash basin is often preferred, especially by ambulance crews who may need to receive the vomit while driving rapidly, and then hand it over for analysis.
Emesis basins are suited for more controlled situations. When washing out a small wound, for example, sometimes the wash water is applied from above with an emesis basin held underneath to catch the runoff. The concave inner rim helps to conform to the curve of the body.