All animals generate wastes and discarding of them in an efficient manner is important. However, the wastes at home and that generated inside a medical facility such as hospital, nursing home, and clinic is not the same. The difference is not only related to the built of waste products but also its nature. Treating and discarding hospital waste as per the guidelines of the The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is an absolute necessity that cannot be tweaked in any circumstances.
Well, you have to understand what hospital waste is. True, the facility needs to be cleaned and sanitized at all times but you must be extra careful of discarding the following that poses health hazards:
- Human body components including tissues, blood, and bodily fluids
- Wastes generated during experiments at the laboratories and/or diagnostic tests
- All microbiological wastes as well as wastes that result from use of biotechnology
- Sharps used in a hospital particularly broken shards of glass, knives, scalpel, and scissors
- Soiled bandages, cotton swabs, plaster casts, contaminated tubes, and catheters
- Liquid waste retrieved from an injured or diseased part of the human body
- Ashes resulting from burning of chemical or biological wastes
The safety practices that need to complied with while trying to discard any of the above-mentioned wastes must be done according to the color code in place. This not only helps the facility to store the hazardous substances properly but the provider can collect it cautiously thus eliminating the extent of risk.
Yellow colored bags that are manufactured from non chlorinated material are usually recommended or holding all sorts of human wastes as well as expired or discarded medicinal drugs. Chemicals used for diagnostic tests and human secretions may also be discarded after collecting them in similar containers.
Red colored containers are meant to collect all discarded items of used tubes, bottles, and intravenous bags. Bags containing urine remnants as well as syringes without needles and fixed needle syringes need to be placed in red containers for easy identification.
White, translucent containers that are leak proof and tamper proof need to be sourced specially for discarding all sorts of sharps including needles, scalpels, and blades. In other words, all items that are capable of puncturing the skin and cause contamination of blood need to be preserved extremely carefully to avoid health risks totally.
Cardboard boxes that are colored blue are advised to hold broken glass resulting from medicinal vials and syringes. Ampoules meant to be discarded may be placed in the blue box too.
Hospitals must adhere to the safe practices by keeping the different containers segregated with the contaminated items being sorted and identified before removing them from the premises. Specially trained staff must be employed to handle efficient segregation to prevent:
- Mix ups thus lowering the incidence of inadvertent injury and/or illness
- Recycling of specific items can be done once a particular item fails to show traces of contamination
It is necessary for a medical facility to hire trained and experienced providers for hospital waste management.