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
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, and bacteria have little chance to survive.
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.
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.