Fluid Talk blog

Fighting infection risks with smart fluid waste management

Progress in healthcare leads to improved infection control for the safety of patients and professionals. Until recently infection control has not developed around medical suction and in fluid  waste management at the same pace as in other areas. Serres has focused on this area, reducing infection risks substantially with solutions that make the fluid waste management process around  medical suction smarter.

For any healthcare facility, infection control is vital. According to the World Health Organization, up to 32% of all surgical patients get a post-op infection. Surgical site infections are the second most frequent type of healthcare-associated infection in Europe and the US.

Today, procedures and processes are well-defined to ensure the safety of patients and healthcare professionals. Facilities follow strict guidelines, best practices and studies to prevent infection. Simple ways to thwart infection include hand hygiene, personal protective equipment, cleaning and disinfection all the way to waste disposal. However, there is still much of room for improvement.

Suction and fluid management are important areas for stepping up infection control. They are essential to any procedure but haven’t been in focus in the past. Except for us at Serres, where we have developed the Suction Bag System, focusing our expertise on minimizing the risk of contamination around suction. Our goal is to reduce the risks to the point where harmful occurrences are an anomaly rather than a constant threat. By designing our products against errors, we help make the workplace of healthcare professionals as safe as it can be.

Have you ever considered the cost of healthcare professional getting contaminated?

Quality is key to better infection control

Before starting any procedure, you need electricity and suction. Suction is often taken as a given, but even its short failure can have serious consequences. Reliable equipment for suction is a key factor in improving infection control.

Have you experienced a situation where a malfunctioning suction system has caused a contamination risk? There can be several reasons for this: During an operation, suction systems may be cumbersome to use, or suction bags could fail. After the procedure, liquid may splash when closing the suction bag or liquid might be spilled while the full liner is emptied, possibly as a result of leakages during transport.

There is no reason to endanger the safety of patients or healthcare professionals with low-quality suction products or less than optimal practices. According to WHO calculations, effective infection prevention and control reduces care-associated infections by at least 30%, and we are proud to contribute with our solutions.

With Serres, quality means the design of the product for each phase of its use, and it ensures that our suction bags do not fail or leak, while also being easy to use. The documented failure rate for Serres suction liners is one in a million, reducing contamination risk at all points.

Designing for safety

WHO emphasizes the holistic nature of infection control, as it is a sum of many parts. We agree. Some might argue that a suction bag is just a basic plastic bag, but we disagree with that notion. Every detail of a suction bag has to be carefully considered and every part of the bag’s use designed with a deep understanding of the healthcare environment, process and requirements. Clearly, it is much more than a plastic bag.

When you can rely on your suction system, you can focus where it matters.

In our observations of handling fluid suction waste, we took a holistic approach, from usage to disposal. The disposal of suction bags was not in line with the high hygiene standards of the hospital environment. In several hospitals, it was common practice to manually empty the full suction liners into open hoppers. This process exposes staff to splashes and bloodborne pathogens, like Hepatitis C and HIV, and increases the spread of healthcare-associated infections (HAIS). This is an unnecessary risk.

Having reviewed the entire chain of fluid management, we developed safer alternatives to existing practices. Instead of manual emptying, full suction liners can be emptied using Serres Nemo. This equipment speeds up the whole process of fluid disposal while minimizing the risk of contamination.

With our solutions, you can focus where it matters

Our passion has always been to design and develop products that solve issues for the healthcare professionals; products we can be proud of. Serres has been dedicated to improving fluid management and suction, working together with healthcare professionals globally for 45 years now. Listening, questioning and observing the current way of doing things has given us the knowledge and understanding to manufacture failsafe solutions. Serres suction liners are relied on in more than 40 000 procedures every day.

At Serres, it is in our nature to always look for better solutions. With our new, smart and safe fluid management solutions, users can focus where their input is most valuable: On the patients rather than the equipment.