What Happens to Medical Waste?

These are the days of environmental awareness and infection control; therefore, every medical facility is expected to dispose of medical waste ethically. You create medical waste each time you go to the hospital. These waste are biohazards that shouldn’t be left to lie carelessly around or disposed of improperly, as contact with them could be infectious.

Medical facilities usually have sharp containers on the wall, red trash cans, and biohazard signs to warn you of materials that are potentially infectious. Each of these elements is used to manage the collection of medical waste for proper disposal.

Are you wondering what medical waste is? Medical waste is a solid waste generated from immunization, diagnosis, or treatment of humans or animals, whether in research, production, or testing. It includes contaminated, potentially harmful, and infectious waste, such as body organs, blood-soaked bandages, culture dishes, discarded surgical instruments, discarded surgical gloves, needles used to draw or give blood, a swab of inoculate cultures, etc. These materials are considered biohazards and are potentially infectious.

Where Does the Waste Go?

Since medical waste is harmful and infectious, you should be concerned about where they go and what happens to them. Active regulations are guiding the treatment and disposal of medical waste. Medical waste goes to landfill, but they are not sent directly there from the red trash cans in medical facilities. They undergo treatment processes before disposal.

Medical waste can be made to go through the following primary safe disposal processes.

Autoclave: This is a process employed to sanitize and make medical waste non-hazardous for disposal. This process involves sterilization with steam under high pressure to kill bacteria and contaminants from medical waste. The temperature is made so high that bacteria and contaminants can’t survive. After an autoclave, the waste can be considered safe for recycling or disposal.

Incineration: Some medical wastes cannot be let out, so they are incinerated at very high combustion temperatures. Examples of medical waste treated via incineration are pathological waste and chemotherapy waste (i.e., waste from a living organism and waste removed during autopsies).

Use of chemical agents: Chemical agents like chlorine can be used to make biohazardous waste non-infectious. Solidifier for medical waste is also a type of chemical agent used to treat medical waste.

Solidifiers for medical waste solidifies and decontaminate liquid medical waste while preventing spills and splashes. This is a great step towards improving the safety of medical facility workers. It reduces the risk of aerosolization and the spread of bloodborne pathogens. Solidifiers for medical waste hasten the speed and efficiency of the disposal of liquid waste.

Recycling: After the plastic items have been sanitized and decontaminated, they are sent to a recycling center where they are made into new products. The medical waste disposal company must ensure that the materials they are sending for recycling have been made safe. The best way to remove any bacteria that may be present is to melt the plastic. That way you can be 100 % sure that the materials are safe.

What Happens to Medical Waste?
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