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How to Dispose of Medical Waste Properly

It is the nature of health facilities to produce large quantities of refuse daily. These wastes should be properly segregated, collected, transported, treated and disposed of. Usually, these facilities have treatment facilities like autoclave onsite where some of these wastes can be burned. Even after burning they still have to get ways of disposing of wastes such as needles, syringes, and chemical wastes. The smaller health care center has the greatest problem of discarding waste as some do not have autoclaves.

To effectively dispose of medical waste including used syringes, scalpels, and IV catheters, use sharp containers to ensure that they are thoroughly segregated. It has been a standard practice to properly dispose of the needles following a single use to prevent sharing of syringes. The practice of using a needle for more than one patient has been a greater contributor to the spread of blood contamination diseases such as AIDS, hepatitis B and C among others. The containers are red or yellow and constructed of solid plastic making it safe to handle and resist needle punctures. The container should also have biohazardous material label. The contains are two types those used once and then discarded. The second is the reusable type which is robotically sterilized and emptied at a medical waste processing facility before returning for re-use.

Healthcare centers and hospitals normally have sharps containers in their patient treatment area. Diabetes patients who must receive their insulin injection daily should also have one at home. It is very vital that the used syringes be disposed of carefully as when carelessly disposed they can result in spread of disease-causing organisms.

The use of these containers is straightforward. One just inserts them in the container using an opening that is upside of the container without letting them touch the outside. Never push or force the needles into avoiding damage and needle stick accidents. Never allow the container to fill to the top. The proper disposal of the full container is to take to a legalized red bag or to the medical waste treatment areas.

Different sizes of these containers are available. The small ones are appropriate for check up rooms while the larger ones are for the busy sections like an operation theatre.

Medical waste disposal is an important part of the healthcare system that cannot be ignored . Reckless disposal even of the tiniest medical tool can endanger the health of the entire public. It is, therefore, a requirement that the medical waste be properly disposed of for the well-being of the patients, public, and the environment.

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