While it may be okay to cut a corner here and there while you are cleaning your house or office, when it comes to medical waste disposal, nothing less than 100 percent is acceptable.
Consider for a moment how much of hospital and medical waste could be potentially dangerous. Medical waste disposal requires proper care for this very reason. Health care facilities generate approximately 2 million tons of medical and surgical wastes every year. That represents nearly 5,500 tons PER DAY. These are staggering numbers. When people’s health is at stake, there is no room to slack off when it comes to medical waste disposal.
There are generally four types of medical waste generated by health care facilities:
We don’t need to dive into the details of each of those categories. You can probably guess which ones are the most dangerous. In fact, there is only one category on that list that isn’t potentially problematic in some way.
General waste refers to the type of trash you might find in your home, from discarded papers to packages and other non-hazardous material. While general waste accounts for 80 percent of all medical waste generated, 20 percent still represents 1,100 tons of dangerous medical waste generated per day.
Of those 5,500 pounds per day that health care facilities go through, the majority of it is infectious and anatomic waste. Not stuff to be trifled with, to be sure.
When handling medical waste disposal, it is important to remember the huge threat hospital and surgical wastes pose to people. If you take into account the 16 billion injections administered globally year-after-year, the danger becomes clear. The World Health Organization has focused on this issue, considering by their own estimates some 260,000 new HIV infections have been directly connected to needle or syringe mismanagement.
A research study conducted in Tanzania found that when health care workers, doctors, and even the general public are not made aware of the dangers of medical waste, the results can be serious.
At the health care facility studied, medical waste was often burned on site or sent off site. In either case, no one at the facility was properly trained on the job, which could present a major health safety issue.
Not getting medical waste disposal right isn’t just about harm to people, it’s also about harm to the environment. One example is that of incineration, which is a common way many hospitals without more advanced facilities handle disposal. Although incineration works well, if not done properly it can be a major pollution concern, especially within the immediate vicinity of your facility.
As one example, during Ebola outbreak in Liberia several years ago hospitals were told not to use old incinerators because they could release chemicals into the air that pollute the environment. Unfortunately, the crisis produced such an overwhelming amount of medical waste they had to use them anyway.
If you are a professional healthcare worker, you are already facing a number of potentially stressful situations every day. The last thing you need is a potential health crisis because the medical waste at your facility is not being disposed of properly.
This is where we come in. Here at LB Medwaste Services, we are the premier medical waste disposal operator in Illinois. If you would rather avoid potential danger to your patients and staff, all while ensuring the environment around your facility is safe and clean, rely on the experts to handle your medical waste disposal needs. Call us today at toll-free at 888-427-5797.
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