Biohazard Waste Disposal is very different to regular waste disposal due to the items that are regarded as biohazard. When a worker is new to the healthcare sector, they may have difficulty knowing the difference between different waste types and particularly if something is considered to be biohazard. It is vitally important that biohazard waste is segregated and disposed of properly due to the higher risk of infection and contamination. Safety is most definitely key when dealing with any kind of biohazard waste. To be able to keep safe the priority is to become familiar with what items of waste are considered to be biohazard waste.
What is Biohazard Waste?
The simplest way to define anything considered to be biohazard waste is any product that can be contaminated with potentially infectious materials. Some of the more common biohazard waste materials are infectious waste, such as:
- Blood and blood products
- Contaminated personal protective equipment
- IV tubing, Blood Transfusion Bags and Suction Canisters
- Cultures, stocks, or any laboratory agent that may be contaminated with an infectious disease
It also includes any type of waste produced in the room of a patient diagnosed with a communicable disease, empty vials from vaccine use, animal waste or waste resulting from veterinary procedures, Sharps waste including needles, scalpels and broken glass vials and any PPE such as gloves, surgical masks, swabs or gauze that is soaked, saturated or dried and able to flake with blood, bodily fluids or other infectious material. If any of the above items are even suspected of harboring viral, parasitic, or bacterial infection, then it is so important that they are appropriately segregated and handled with the utmost care. Microorganisms within these waste streams actually have the potential to affect an individual’s health and wellness. These microorganisms are known to thrive in hospital environments, as well as outpatient clinics, physicians’ offices or any other healthcare sector.
The Importance Of Disposing Of Biohazard Waste Correctly
It is so vitally important that every individual that is employed in a healthcare environment must be competent when it comes to identifying biohazard waste and they must be well aware of the steps that they need to take to isolate, contain, and dispose of it. Every healthcare workplace must be compliant and safe in medical waste management. This includes everyone from management down to maintenance, housekeeping, and medical waste disposal personnel. Everybody needs to have the same view of biohazard waste and how it needs to be safely segregated and disposed of. From the origin of biohazard waste right through to its final disposal it is so important that all biohazard waste is properly handled. Any waste material that has become saturated with blood or bodily fluids must be segregated and discarded in an appropriate and labeled biohazard waste container. Biohazard waste is disposed of in red bags and the bags must also be securely tied prior to transport and disposal. Doing it this way ensures the safety of everyone involved in the disposal of biohazard waste.