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Tests of disinfection by heat in a bedpan washing machine
  1. G. A. J. Ayliffe,
  2. B. J. Collins,
  3. C. E. A. Deverill
  1. Hospital Infection Research Laboratory, Summerfield Hospital, Birmingham


    Tests of effectiveness of disinfection of metal and polypropylene bedpans were made in a washer fitted with a steam generator. Broth cultures of Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus, or Streptococcus faecalis (approximately 4 × 108 organisms) were sealed in lengths of capillary tubing and attached to the surface of the pans. In other tests, pans were contaminated with an artificial soil containing Str. faecalis (108 organisms/ml). In both series of tests, counts of surviving organisms were made at the end of the washing and disinfection cycle. The tests using capillary tubes showed that the Gram-negative bacilli were effectively killed, but not necessarily Gram-positive cocci. However, when incorporated in standard soil, Str. faecalis was killed or removed during the cycle.

    The results indicate that the disinfection process was effective for metal bedpans, but less so for polypropylene. Possible disadvantages and modification of the machine are suggested.

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