Things to Remember During Medical Waste Disposal
In the medical domain, waste is a reality. In order to provide the safest healthcare to patients, several tools and instruments are used only once and disposed of. This practice is essential to keep patients and everyone around these facilitates and tools safe and it also reduces the risk of any infections.
Once medical equipment is used and needs to be thrown away, it can’t simply be dumped in a regular trash can. It is imperative to dispose off them properly in the best interest of the patients’ safety as well as of those around.
In recent years, poor medical or biomedical waste management has emerged as a major cause of concern globally. It is impacting human health and the environment and is a threat to future generations in very severe ways.
So, disposing of the waste is not enough. We have to be careful with various things while doing so. Let’s have a look at the things to remember during medical waste disposal.
Biomedical Waste Classification
There are multiple factors to biomedical waste generated from health care units. These factors include the type and occupancy of health care units, the ratio of reusable items in use, methods for waste management, availability of infrastructure and resources, and specialization of healthcare units.
Medical waste is classified into eight categories by WHO:
- General Waste
- Infectious to potentially infectious waste
- Pressurized containersWaste
The world is going through the grave results of poor management of biomedical waste. Disastrous effects are continuously raising their ugly heads specifically on human health and the environment. No wonderwaste disposals in healthcare institutions are posing threats and have become a cause of great concern. It is because of these environmental issues that we have to be cautious while disposing of medical waste. Here are some do’s and don’ts to remember during medical waste disposal -
Do’s of Proper Biomedical Waste Disposal
Don’ts of Proper Biomedical Waste Disposal
Immediately throw used medical items and other sharps in the designated waste disposal biomedical bins.
Throw used needles, open syringes, sharp objects, and other medical wastes in the regular trash can.
Use FDA-approved biomedical waste containers. Go for corrosion-resistant range.
Flush needles or other sharp objects in the toilet.
Make sure you seal medical waste and segregate it according to it’s proper waste disposal containers. Label them properly, and check local guidelines on how to properly dispose of them.
Throw needles or other sharps in a recycle garbage bin.
If sharps are used at home (like those to administer insulin and other medications), throw them in waste disposal bins. You can also connect with local trash collectors to know about sharps disposal programs in your area. Ask your healthcare provider or local hospital about getting an FDA-approved biomedical waste container. This is the proper way to dispose of needles and other sharp objects.
Attempt to break, bend, or remove used needles. This way the needles will prick you, which can lead to serious infections. Also, never try to remove a needle without a proper needle clipper because the needle could end up falling down, being lost, and in turn injuring someone.
Keep all sharps and sharps disposal containers out of the reach of children and pets.
Use low-quality biomedical waste containers.
Important Practices for Medical Waste Disposal
Healthcare facilities have procedures and tools to prevent improper disposal of medical waste. So, here are four practices to follow -
- Medical Waste Containers
These are helpful for healthcare workers in disposing of waste correctly. Respective waste containers are labelled with the type of medical waste to be disposed of. This makes waste removal more streamlined and simplified.
Different container types are used for different requirements. For Example, sharps’ containerwaste bins are used for used needles and other sharp objects.
- Labelling and Packaging
Different medical wastes require different packaging and labelling. This eases disposing of these appropriately. For instance, wastes like infectious waste, biohazardous waste, and pathology waste – all need different labels and should be handled differently.
Additionally, sharp objects like needles must be in puncture-resistant packaging and only then put into a medical waste bag to be shipped. This prevents any chance of injury to others during transport.
- Detailed Documentation
Just like other formalities in the medical domain, documentation is important while disposing of medical waste. Required for transport, the documentation or paperwork protects not just the care provider but also safeguards the waste disposal company.
- Employing a Professional
Waste is the responsibility of waste generators such as laboratories, nursing homes, and hospitals. Even after it has been taken away, the liability of the healthcare institution remains on it for having disposed of the waste correctly. So, choosing a dependable waste management company is important. The company should have sound knowledge of the legal policies for transport and disposal. At the same time, it must abide by the policies and strictly follow them.
Set a removal schedule with your waste disposal company. This saves you from having a backup of waste that needs to be transported.
How to dispose of the waste in biomedical bins?
Management of biomedical waste is now a worldwide humanitarian concern.
Hospitals are as responsible for the proper disposal of biomedical waste as their responsibility for a patient’s wellbeing. By having appropriate biomedical waste containers, healthcare institutions can keep their patients from catching any more infections or illnesses. This step also helps in keeping hospital employees and patients’ visitors from being infected. By doing so, they will be effectively taking the first step in the proper disposal of biomedical waste with regards to the federal and state guidelines.
It is noteworthy that medical waste has to be segregated in specific biomedical bins. Once done, a company taking care of medical waste picks it up. The waste is then transported to the treatment facility that performs the required processes on the waste before disposing it off in the required way.
For instance, by throwing away sharps in the designated waste disposal biomedical bins, the risk of accidental puncture by needles and cuts by other sharp objects can be minimized. Look for UV Stabilized, durable, 100% virgin, and maintenance-free products to manage your medical waste in proper biomedical bins.
In a nutshell, the disposal of medical healthcare is challenging. But it comprises an important part of healthcare. Just keep the pointers mentioned above in mind and you will be disposing of the medical waste appropriately.