Medical waste includes all waste materials that have a medical or laboratory origin. All waste generated at hospitals, other healthcare facilities, laboratories, and medical research centres get categorized as biomedical or clinical waste. It is also noteworthy that even households generate their medical waste. Irrespective of how one defines medical waste or where it originates, one sure thing is that its management and disposal have become vital.
As evident, availing of the services of clinical waste disposal companies is the safest way to avoid polluting the environment even further. These companies follow the steps below to handle medical waste for efficient clinical waste management.
The three main steps include:
• Collection and segregation of waste
• Its storage and transportation
• Treatment and final disposal
Step 1: Collection and segregation for clinical waste disposal
To efficiently collect waste, it is first essential to be familiar with its categories and how to use the correct container. Like handling all other debris, the best method is to begin at the place of a generation where waste originates. To help segregate waste, collection containers are generally colour coded. Red containers help to collect sharps’ waste materials like syringe needles, razors, and blades. At the same time, red containers with a biohazard symbol are for collecting infectious wastes like blood, IV tubing’s, and contaminated equipment.
Other coloured containers include black, blue, and yellow containers for managing hazardous waste (like dangerous medicines, bulk chemo, and P-listed drugs), pharmaceutical waste (for example, pills, antibiotics, and injectable), and destruction of trace chemotherapy (like gloves, gowns, and empty vials) respectively. Yellow-coloured shielded containers with a radioactive symbol get explicitly used for collecting radioactive waste, including anything contaminated by radiotherapy and lab research liquids. As such, you must follow proper clinical waste disposal.
Step 2: Biomedical waste storage and transportation
Medical waste management companies efficiently handle waste storage and safe transportation for their clients. As a general rule of waste disposal, medical waste always needs to be stored in secure facilities that are out of the general public’s reach and located at a safe distance from areas involved in food or drink consumables. It is essential to store medical waste until it can get safely disposed of in bulk. Regarding transportation, most medical waste disposal companies offer special vehicles equipped with state-of-the-art technology and the latest defensive tools.
Step 3: Final treatment and disposal
If any fallout happens before disposal (even at the storage or transportation level), the company generating that waste is held responsible. Hence choosing a professional; waste management company is essential. Waste disposal methods adopted by these companies include the following:
• Incineration used for disposal of pharmaceutical and pathological waste.
• Autoclave chambers for infectious waste and sharps disposal.
• Medical waste shredder.
Autoclaves come in different sizes and help accordingly. For instance, medium-sized autoclaves are used for veterinary and dental clinic waste, whereas larger autoclaves are great for the use of central sterile departments and huge hospitals. The latest ingenious technology is an integrated shredder and sterilizer that combines shredding and steam sterilization benefits for clinical waste disposal.