The use of disposable wipes eliminates the disadvantages of basins, tap water, used linens, and inconsistent product use. Single use packs minimise the risk of cross contamination because there is no use of a bath basin or re-dipping of washcloths causing a potential bacterial burden. Reducing the patient contact with shared patient supplies, such as the basin, will decrease their possibility of exposure to bacteria.
The tap water used in patient bathing could also be a potential cause of nosocomial outbreaks, decreasing contact with it is inexpensive yet effective.¹ Using disposable wipes eradicates the need for tap water.
With wipes there would be no need to carry heavy water filled basins to patient rooms, no chance of spilling and creating hazardous walk areas in the hospital. There would be no need for dipping and wringing out of linens making for a faster prep and clean giving the healthcare professional more time to tend to other important things.
Using a single use wipe ensures that the cloth will be soft and gentle on the skin. Wipes have not gone through the same wear and tear from repeated use that the cloths in traditional basin bathing have. Patient comfort should be of the utmost importance. Using a rough and frayed cloth on already fragile skin could be uncomfortable and may cause further damage.
¹ Anaissie E, Penzak S, Digani C. The hospital water supply as a source of nonsocial infections. Arch intern Med. 2002;162:1483-1492