A lot of waste generated by medical facilities is solid municipal waste. A varying proportion of healthcare waste requires particular attention such as sharps (i.e. objects having sharp edges like razors, needles, scalpels); pathological waste, pharmaceutical waste, biological waste, and hazardous chemical waste. Combined these wastes are known as special healthcare waste. |
Also, waste generated under certain special conditions like in isolation wards and microbiological laboratories should be dealt with carefully.
If hospital waste disposal is not done properly it poses serious risk to people (healthcare workers, patients, waste handlers, waste pickers, and the public in general) and the environment.
Improper disposal of healthcare waste like open dumping and uncontrolled burning results in an increased risk of spreading infections and toxic emissions because of incomplete combustion.
Many diseases are transmitted through wounds from infected sharps. Serious infections are Hepatitis B (HBV), Hepatitis C (HCV) and the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV.
World Health Organization has estimated that throughout the world, unsafe injections can cause nearly 8 million new HBV infections, 1.2 million HCV infections and 30,000 HIV infections every year.
Therefore it is very necessary that the healthcare waste should be managed properly. This will result in reducing the risks both inside and outside of healthcare facilities.
The first step to take is to separate wastes into reusable and non-reusable and hazardous and non-hazardous components. The next steps are the proper treatment of sharps, ensuring the safety of workers, confirming that waste is properly collected and transported, and installing safe disposal mechanisms.
So to put it into a step by step form, there are four important steps in this process.
1) Segregation of waste into various components.
2) Transporting it to waste treatment and disposal sites.
4) Eventual disposition.
Incineration or burning is one of the more important technological tools in healthcare waste management because it can completely destroy contaminated material.
Of course there is a lot more information on hospital waste disposal, this article is meant to give you a brief overview.
If you own or manage a medical facility of any kind, then the advisable thing to do is to hire a good local medical waste disposal company. You need professionals who dispose of healthcare waste every day and are knowledgeable of the process.
Farhan Musavi blogs on Major Journal.
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