A bedpan or bed pan is an object used for the toileting of a bedridden patient in a health care facility, usually made of a metal, glass, or plastic receptacle. A bed pan can be used for both urinary and fecal discharge. Many diseases can confine a patient to bed, necessitating the use of bedpans, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, apoplexia cerebri and dementia. Additionally, many patients may be confined to a bed temporarily as a result of a temporary illness, injury, or surgery, thereby necessitating the use of a bed pan.
Bedpans are usually constructed of stainless steel and may be cold, hard and uncomfortable. On the other hand, stainless steel is easy to clean and durable. Also, the supporting area of some products is very small and prolonged use can cause pressure ulcers. To solve these problems, new ergonomic bedpans have been developed, which support the patient with a larger area of warm plastic. Some designs completely cover the genitalia during use, offering protection and an extra measure of privacy. On the other hand, the material is difficult to clean, and plastic may be a reservoir for microorganisms.
Fracture bedpans are smaller than standard size bedpans, having one flat end. These bedpans are designed specifically for patients who have had a hip fracture or are recovering from hip replacement. This type of bedpan may be used for those who cannot raise their hips high enough or to roll over onto a regular size bedpan.
In recent years, the bedpan liner made of recycled pulp (molded pulp) is more popular in UK hospitals; it is high total cost, single-use, decreasing the risk of cross-contaminated disease. An alternative to the recycled pulp liner is the plastic bedpan liner which creates a barrier between the waste and the bedpan. Some liners are made of biodegradable plastic and contain absorbent powder to eliminate splashing and spills. These liners are being used in hospitals to decrease infection and can also be purchased and used for home care.
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