Collection of Medical Waste

On October 1, 2011, in Medical Waste, by Sushant

Medical wastes need to be collected in designated ways from hospitals and nursing homes, clinics and so forth. These need to be collected in ways that interactions with humans, animals or the external environment are minimized. The type of medical waste determines the type of collection methods to be used. For instance, medical wastes are collected in containers which are colored red and are marked as “biohazard”. This is a standardization which has become common in medical units across countries.

Sharp objects which are reusable and are contaminated are usually designated containers which are puncture resistant. This is to ensure that the sharp edges do not puncture the skin of waste handlers and make them prone to infections. Such containers also need to be labeled or color coded. Sharps which are contaminated with blood or other forms of infectious materials should be stored in containers where employees can reach in by hand. Regulated wastes which are liquid or semi liquid must be packed in containers which are leak proof. These need to be labeled or color coded and constructed in a way that the fluids do not leak out.

Collection of Medical Waste Bins, cans or pails which are designated for collection of medical wastes and are reused should be decontaminated on a regular basis so that infections do not collect and get transferred from such containers. Labels must be put on such carriers in fluorescent orange or orange red colors so that the letterings and symbols are predominant. Also, the letterings and symbols should be affixed in such a way on the containers that the they cannot be easily removed.

Sharps objects need to be collected in designated containers. These can be found in most medical offices, public places even for the safe disposal of hypodermic needles. Such containers are usually made of thick plastic and have an opening on one side through which the discarded needles are inserted. Other forms of containers for the collection of medical waste consist of gallon drums for the storage of wastes. In many countries the amount of time or days for which medical wastes can be stored is usually specified. Medical wastes, especially the hazardous ones should not be mixed with non hazardous ones.

Many municipalities collect hazardous wastes from designated homes which generate medical wastes due to home health care facilities. Collection of medial wastes is important and such wastes should never be mixed with household wastes. Proper training of medical staff and general public in this regard is very important.

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