Clinical waste should be well handled to reduce the chances of exposing other people to infectious substances or fluids, blood-borne pathogens that lead to transmission of diseases, and sharps injury. A medical institution should have good waste management to maintain compliance. The processes for maintaining compliance are:

  • Waste Policies: These are documented guidelines on how the clinical waste should be disposed of, the goals and the details of the protocol.
  • Auditing: This involves regular checks of how a medical institution is maintaining proper sanitation and methods used to dispose of clinical waste.
  • Training: People are educated and trained on how to manage different types of clinical waste.
  • Documentation Control: Record keeping is done regarding the waste transfer and its frequency in a given period.
  • Incident:  It is an anticipated event that harms a patient, caregiver, or other medical personnel. For example, if a nurse forgets to wash her hands before handling a wound or changing gloves before attending to another patient leading to infection spread. 

Color-coded bins are widely used in medical institutions to make it easier to differentiate the types of waste. Waste segregation is the process of sorting and separating different types of waste with the goal of good disposal of waste.

The main categories of clinical waste are redundant medical waste, infectious, sharps, and anatomical waste. In this case, waste segregation in a medical institution must facilitate the proper disposal of:

  • Pharmaceutical Waste: Different drugs that are expired, unused, and contaminated vaccines
  • Cytotoxic or Cytostatic Waste: Contains substances with genotoxic characteristics such as cytotoxic drugs used to treat cancer. These are very harmful substances that are mutagenic, carcinogenic, and teratogenic.
  • Gypsum: This is the material used in making the plaster casts in the fracture department and dentistry.
  • Pathological Waste: Human or animal organs, body parts, human tissues, and contaminated animal carcasses are classified as pathological waste.
  • Waste Chemicals: Chemical solvents and reagents used in laboratories as disinfectants, sterilisers, and batteries
  • Infectious Waste: This category involves waste contaminated with bodily fluids such as blood and excretion. Waste from autopsies, swabs, bandages, and disposable medical devices should be disposed of instantly after use.
  • Bodily Fluids: Blood and other human body fluids should be well-disposed of to avoid transmission of blood-borne infections through the used sharps.
  • Pathological Waste: Involves animal or human tissues.
  • Animal or human body excretions: This includes ammonia, urea, and uric acid in animals while in humans it includes urine, faeces, sweat, saliva, gas(CO2), and much more.
  • Non-hazardous Waste: A waste matter that does not have biological, radioactive, or chemical risks to the people.
  • Sharps Waste: This involves medically and chemically contaminated sharps. Examples are used needles, syringes, blades, and scalpels.

Responsible Clinical Waste Management Guidelines

It is essential to note that the mentioned wastes should be separated and disposed of in different systems for better handling. Measures to ensure the safe management of medical waste are meant to guarantee the safety of health workers, patients, and the public.

1. Do Not Incinerate Clinical Waste in the Open Air

It is advised not to burn or incinerate the clinical waste within the healthcare facility. This is because there are high chances of the emission of dioxins, furans, harmful substances, and particulate matter into the air that other people will inhale, which may lead to a serious problem.

2. Do Not Overfill the Clinical Waste Containers or Bags

This is to give an allowance for the space to tie the bags up. The containers should not be filled to the prime to avoid contact with the waste. It also reduces the chances of spillage in case someone accidentally knocks on the bags or bins.

The clinical waste bags need to be closed using an overhead knot or gooseneck knot while securing them with a plastic tie or duck tape.

3. Promotion of the Use of Colour Coded Bags or Bins to Enhance Waste Segregation

This helps people identify where to appropriately dispose of a certain item and not mix it up with other waste types.

With proper guidelines, all medical personnel will be able to dispose the clinical wastes without mistakes. Every medical facility needs to contract a licensed waste management company for timely collection of the colour coded bags and disposal to prevent risks of contamination.

4. Enhanced Clinic Training

The healthcare staff should be educated and trained on how to manage waste using various streams. This is to reduce the risks exposed to the patients and the public.

5. Use of Automated or Foot-Operated Lid Units

The main objective of such lids is to reduce the chances of contact with the lids that might be contaminated when waste is dropped inside the container.

Therefore, it is important to choose specialized containers that utilize these safety precautions. The larger containers also need to have reliable “hand holders” for swift movement from the segregation point to point of collection.

Conclusion

A healthcare or medical institution should have a reliable clinical waste management company that deals with their clinical waste accordingly. Waste management requires highly trained personnel who are aware of how to handle different types of clinical waste.

Trikon Clinical Waste Solutions facilitates your medical centre with good disposal containers that meet all the requirements of good clinical waste disposal vessels.

We ensure that we reduce the risks of infection transmission by proper disposal of these wastes. Tailoring our services for different clients to enhance better services is our priority.

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