Waterless Bathing Products Could Help Nurses Reduce the Risk of Infection Transmission

By Yvonne Carter, Clinical Director at GAMA Healthcare (https://gamahealthcare.com/) and previously Head of Infection Control at Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust

For both nurses and carers, helping patients with their personal hygiene and bathing are essential components in quality of life and quality of care. Bathing has been argued to have a strong effect on patient well-being and patient comfort.

For immobile patients, sometimes, a body wash in bed is the only option. Traditionally, the bed bath is performed with water and soap. However, alternatives are increasingly used in health care. Washing without water is one such alternative that has been claimed to provide several advantages, such as improved hygiene and skin condition. In practice, it is fast, minimises discomfort and results in less mess. In two studies, nursing staff have significantly preferred washing without water over traditional bathing.i

Built on the experience from GAMA’s founders, the Carell wipes are an easy-to-use bathing solution to clean, moisturise and refresh. Delivering a full body wash in a single product and no need to spend time gathering supplies. They contain aloe vera and active moisturisers to promote healthy skin. They’re dermatologically tested, alcohol, lanolin and paraben free with a patented skin-pH neutral formula.

Speed and efficiency

Wipes replace the need for traditional cumbersome patient cleansing methods, which include preparing bowls, washcloths, soap, lotions and water.

They require no towel drying which decreases waste, increases staff compliance and may save money. A time in motion study comparing traditional bed bathing with waterless bathing in elderly care wards was carried out in practice, finding that staff saved 40 minutes whilst delivering care to six patients.i

Patient comfort and preference

In the previously mentioned study, it was found that the experience was preferred by patients and improved staff practice due to the simple one pack one person formulation.i

The drying time for the wipes is minimal, reducing the need for abrasive towelling, whilst the wipes themselves are soft. A study showed the prevalence of skin abnormalities in the traditional bathing group increased overtime, whilst the waterless bathing group observed a decrease in abnormality prevalence.i Additionally, another study showed a significant difference in skin dryness, favouring the waterless group.ii

Infection prevention

Carell wipes also remove the risk of microorganism transmission associated with wash bowl contamination, risks from re-using washbowls between patients, spillage, non-drying of washbowls or less than effective decontamination between washbowl uses. Improved patient cleanliness reduces the number of microorganisms present to transfer to healthcare workers, visitors and the environment

The wipes are designed for use on each area of the body and can be used and disposed of safely, breaking the chain of transmission via bath basins. Once waterless bathing has been completed, wipes can be resealed in their original packaging and safely disposed of. This reduces the risk of outbreaks and HCAIs associated with drainage systems.

A randomised trial into the cost-consequence of washing without water revealed there is no difference in costs verses traditional bed bathing, making waterless washing the more efficient alternative.i

Find out more about Carell Wipes and access to dedicated training/resources on waterless bathing https://gamahealthcare.com/carell

i https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25173772/
ii https://bmcgeriatr.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12877-017-0425-4

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