June 8, 2017
Evac Technology Makes Cancer Treatment Safer
Thanks to Evac products, cancer patients in a Moscow hospital now experience the safest and most efficient stay available.
Moscow’s Federal State Budgetary Institute Russian Cancer Research Center of N.N. Blokhin of the Ministry of Health of Russia is taking honors for safety and savings in the treatment of cancer.
In the diagnosis and treatment of cancer the hospital uses Iodine-131, a radioisotope of iodine. Since I-131 is a radioisotopic source, it must not only be cared for during use, but all water which comes in contact with patients is radioactive and is subject to a strictly regulated quarantine-based holding process, until it is no longer radioactive and may be discharged into the public sewer.
A new section within the hospital’s cancer treatment center serves 18 patients in 12 rooms with 12 vacuum toilets, 12 showers, and 22 interface units for hand bathing. Ordered by RadioIsotopnye Pribory LLC (Chelyabinsk, Russian Federation), which led the renovation process, Evac supplied the vacuum drainage system, including the floor drains, interface, and vacuum collecting unit with two pumps.
The Evac system takes effluent from the vacuum drainage system and pumps it to four holding tanks of 46 cubic meters each. The effluent is held there up to 14 weeks depending on the level of radioactivity.
Evac’s vacuum technology not only creates a safer environment for both patients and the community around them, it produces savings of both financial and natural resources.
The first economies are realized by the use of fewer tanks due to the vacuum system. “If the hospital had used a gravity system, they would have needed 10 tanks instead of four,” says Alexandre Matikainen, Evac’s Area Sales Manager.
The most obvious savings begin with the tanks themselves. Since a single tank costs approximately 20,000 euros, the elimination of six tanks results in an immediate savings for the hospital of 120,000 euros. And since a single tank’s footprint is 25 square meters, 150 m2 of floor space is immediately gained by the hospital.
Space gains are particularly useful in metropolitan hospitals that cannot expand territory. And in new builds, construction prices begin at around 1,000 euros/m2, an equivalent of 150,000 euros in savings.
Of course, the most obvious advantage of vacuum is water savings, which results in the reduction in the volume of radioactive wastewater. Vacuum toilets use only 1.2 liters of water per flush, compared with the five or six required by gravity toilets. “Ironically, the price of water in Russia is low enough that water cost is not a major sales argument in this particular case,” says Matikainen. “However, it’s extremely important because less water used means less radioactive waste generated.”
Hospital germs are stronger than in other environments, making patients more susceptible to infection. Vacuum technology offers improved hygiene over gravity, since germs are literally sucked away during the flush, resulting in an all-around safer environment.
Gravity systems also have another major drawback: radioactive water flows at a slower rate inside the pipes versus vacuum systems. “This means the pipes with gravity systems become radioactive within one or two years,” says Matikainen. “With vacuum systems the flow rate is 15 meters per second, and it’s therefore safer.”
Another safety advantage in vacuum systems is the reduced risk of pipe leakage, improving iatrogenic disease control. Should a pipe breach occur, instead of water leaking out, air leaks in due to the pressure difference. Also, flushes produce fewer odors and mists, meaning improved patient comfort in hospital bathrooms.
There are plenty of arguments in favor of vacuum systems, but one thing is clear: It’s a win for all parties involved, the hospital, patient, and the environment.
Moscow’s Federal State Budgetary Institute Russian Cancer Research Center of N.N. Blokhin
The Evac system takes effluent from the vacuum drainage system and pumps it to four holding tanks of 46 cubic meters each.