ABLiS™ – Antimicrobial Basin and Liner System

ABLiS™ – Antimicrobial Basin and Liner System

An innovative bed-bathing system providing cost-effective comfort and prevention of healthcare-associated infection (HAI)

Image: ©Pentland Medical

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You can find out more about this product at Pentland Medical (UK Distributor)


The PathAguard® ABLiS™ antimicrobial basin and liner system has been developed and patented by CMC Hygea Limited of Waterford, Ireland (1). The device consists of an antimicrobial-impregnated, reusable wash basin and a single-use antimicrobial liner. This device delivers safe, comfortable and effective bed bathing with cost-savings. Pentland Medical is marketing this system as ABLiS™ (2).

When used with recommended infection control procedures, ABLiS™ can reduce the risk of cross-infection when patient-assisted washing is being performed.

There is published data to support the problems of healthcare and hospital acquired infections (HAI) associated with ‘traditional’ hospital basin bathing equipment. The ABLiS™ provides a cost-effective, practical way of ensuring infection control in hospitals, nursing homes and home environments.

The Health Burden of Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs)

Healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) result in a large health- and cost-burden worldwide (3, 4). The demand on NHS resources comes from an increasing number of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria and from an increasing number of chronically ill or immunologically compromised patients who are susceptible to hospital-acquired ‘opportunistic’ infections (5).

As an example of this dual problem, the impact of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) on health costs and morbidity and mortality in hospital patients in the UK is well documented. In 2008, the Royal College of Physicians commissioned a financial risk management analysis that showed that during that year, 5,000 people in England were infected with MRSA (6). In 2008, the treatment of MRSA cost the NHS more than £45-million, with the estimate that every new case of MRSA cost the NHS £9,000 (6). In 2011, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published its reported data on MRSA and Clostridium difficile, with recommendations for infection prevention (7). In 2012, the Department of Health Policy Research Programme commissioned a report on the economic burden of antimicrobial resistance with the focus on opportunistic bacteria acquired within hospital (8).

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) have estimated that between 8% and 12% of patients now admitted to hospitals in European countries suffer from healthcare-associated adverse events, with HAIs being the most prominent of them (9). HAIs now affect more than 4 million patients annually in the European Union (EU) Member States and these infections result in approximately 37,000 deaths per year (9). The Council of the EU has recently launched a recommendation to the Member States and the Commission to prevent HAIs and to promote patient safety by institutional, community, and national action plans (9). Between 20% and 30% of all HAIs are preventable by improved infection control measures (9, 10).

Bath Basins as a Potential Source of Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAI)

There are two types of bed baths used in hospitals, nursing homes and community care: the traditional basin which uses soap and water, and the disposable bath which is pre-packed in single-use units and which is usually heated before use. Bath basins can be a reservoir for bacteria and may be a source of transmission of HAIs (4, 11).

In 2015, a study of 58 patients compared the traditional basin bed bath to a disposable bed bath (12). In this study, four factors were considered: duration and quality of the bath; cost; nurse satisfaction and patient satisfaction (12). The nurses in this study clearly preferred the disposable baths, and so did the majority of patients (12). In the case of disposable baths, the costs were lower as significantly less time was used in bathing (12). The decision of the authors of this study was that nurses should inform patients about the two methods and involve patients in the decision about which method to use (12).

The Advantage of the ABLiS™ – Antimicrobial Basin and Liner System

The ABLiS™ system is latex-free, basin washer compatible, ergonomically designed and has an anti-microbial disposable liner system. The ABLiS™ system is impregnated with a combination of proven, effective antimicrobial agents.

Cost is minimal: the basin is priced at circa £8.00, with the cost of the liner and dispenser being a matter of pence, but dependent on quantity.


With the increasing awareness of infection control, from recent findings of nurse and patient preference, and in keeping with UK and European guidelines on prevention of healthcare-acquired infection (HAI), the ABLiS™ system is recommended for patient bathing (8-12).

If you would like to comment on any of the issues raised by this article, particularly from your own experience or insight, Healthcare-Arena would welcome your views.


  1. The PathAguard® ABLiS™ system is a practical solution to reduce the spread of Hospital Acquired Infections (HAI) in a healthcare environment. Product information. http://www.cmchygea.net/pathaguardreg-ablistrade.html Accessed July 13, 2015
  2. Pentland Medical Product Information website. http://www.pentlandmedical.co.uk/index.php/products/infection-prevention/pail-bath-basin-fluid-management-system/ Accessed July 13, 2015
  3. Stone PW, Braccia D, Larson E. Systematic review of economic analyses of health care-associated infections. Am J Infect Control. 2005; 33: 501–509. http://www.ajicjournal.org/article/S0196-6553(05)00522-5/abstract Accessed July 13, 2015
  4. McNamara L. Health Care-Associated Infection. Am J Crit Care 2009;18:41. http://ajcc.aacnjournals.org/content/18/1/41.full Accessed July 13, 2015
  5. Public Health England. Healthcare associated infections (HCAI): guidance, data and analysis. Published July 31, 2015. https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/healthcare-associated-infections-hcai-guidance-data-and-analysis Accessed July 13, 2015
  6. Devlin K. Every MRSA case costs NHS an extra £9,000. The Telegraph. June 25 2008.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2194132/Every-MRSA-case-costs-NHS-an-extra-9000.html Accessed July 13, 2015
  7. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE). Public Health Guidance 36. Quality Improvement Guide. Prevention and Control of Healthcare-Associated Infections. Costing Report. 2011. http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ph36/resources/ph36-prevention-and-control-of-healthcareassociated-infections-costing-report2 Accessed July 13, 2015
  8. Smith RD, Coast J. The economic burden of antimicrobial resistance: Why it is more serious than current studies suggest. Independent research report commissioned and funded by the Department of Health Policy Research Programme (Economic burden of antimicrobial resistance: a rapid paper, 0410035). 2012. http://www.lshtm.ac.uk/php/economics/assets/dh_amr_report.pdf Accessed July 13, 2015
  9. Council of the European Union. Council recommendation of 9 June 2009 on patient safety, including the prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections (2009/C151/01). Official Journal of the European Union. 3 Jul 2009. Available from: http://ec.europa.eu/health/patient_safety/docs/council_2009_en.pdf Accessed July 13, 2015
  10. European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control/European Medicines Agency (ECDC/EMEA). Joint technical report The bacterial challenge: time to react. Stockholm:ECDC/EMEA; 2009. Available from: http://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/publications/Publications/0909_TER_The_Bacterial_Challenge_Time_to_React.pdf Accessed July 13, 2015
  11. Johnson D, Lineweaver L, Maze LM. Patients’ Bath Basins as Potential Sources of Infection: A Multicenter Sampling Study. Am J Crit Care 2009;18:31-40 http://ajcc.aacnjournals.org/content/18/1/31.full Accessed July 13, 2015
  12. Noddeskou LH, Hemmingsen LE, Hordam B. Elderly patients’ and nurses’ assessment of traditional bed bath compared to prepacked single units – randomised controlled trial. Scand J Caring Sci. 2015;29(2):347-52. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/scs.12170/abstract Accessed July 13, 2015


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