Medical wastes carry risks from the moment they are produced. Because they interact with people and the environment. The risks caused by medical waste mostly affect the employees of health institutions and support units of these institutions, medical interns, healthcare institution laundry workers, hospital personnel, and sterilization teams. For this reason, the disposal of medical waste is among the priority issues for all health institutions. Medical waste cabinets produced for this have an important place among medical storage cabinets.
Medical waste can cause very serious diseases and even occupational accidents. For this reason, we share our research on medical waste disposal and its importance in this article. Dispose of medical waste can be shown as an important source regarding this.
Definition of Medical Waste
All wastes generated in medical institutions such as hospitals, health centers, or laboratories are called medical waste. To give an example of medical waste, needles, gloves, surgical materials, and samples can be counted.
Dispose of medical waste is significant. When there isn’t disposal of medical waste they are very harmful to both human health and the environment. Therefore, it is important to use appropriate medical waste cabinets according to the type of waste. During the transport of medical waste, hand transport is not carried out. However, they cannot be transported or loaded with household waste.
Hepatitis is one of the leading diseases caused by medical waste. Many viruses and bacteria can still be transmitted from waste. Brucella, malaria, tuberculosis, ebola virus infections, and many infections originate from medical waste.
How Are Medical Wastes Stored?
Medical waste should not be stored for more than 48 hours before being transported to the waste facility. It can be stored in temporary medical waste warehouses. It can be stored for up to 1 week if the temperature can be maintained at +4 degrees. To provide this, medical waste cabinets are quite functional. It is very important to choose the right medical waste cabinet in hospitals, laboratories, and all needed health institutions.
Coolermed medical waste cabinets ensure the temperature required for medical waste to be kept safely. This prevents the proliferation of microorganisms. Coolermed waste cabinets stand out in the health sector with the following features:
- It has glass-free block doors.
- Its inner body consists of stainless steel.
- Professional insulation is provided by using polyurethane.
- The outer bodies are rust-proof, electrostatic powder painted.
You can examine Coolermed TA170-145 Liter and TA670-584 Liter products for medical waste cabinets with different features and internal volumes.
Disposal Methods of Medical Wastes
The first step in disposing of medical waste is shredding. A double-shaft shredder system is used. Shredded wastes are subjected to a sterilization process and hazardous wastes are disposed of in this way. How to dispose of medical waste? We can explain the methods of destruction as follows.
Pressure and high temperatures are used for the dispose of medical waste. However, sterilization can also be achieved with chemical materials. The nature of the waste is an important factor in determining the method for medical waste disposal. Infectious wastes and sharps are suitable for sterilization methods. We have reviewed the methods used for the dispose of medical waste, we share them with you.
Sterilization Using Chemical Material
It is tested by using chemical and biological indicators whether medical wastes that are subject to sterilization, which is at risk of infection, are rendered harmless. For this purpose, a laboratory is established in the facility, or instead, biological indicators can be sent to other laboratories authorized by the Ministry for examination. For the validity of the result, attention should be paid to whether there is a color change in the chemical indicator carrier placed in the sterilizer with the waste.
It is a method performed by bringing electrons closer to the speed of light with the accelerator effect and penetrating this high energy into the material to be sterilized. The product to be sterile moves on the conveyor and absorbs the high energy in the electron beam. Thus, it damages the DNA of microorganisms and terminates their reproduction.
Sterilization with Steam
Sterilization of medical waste with steam is one of the most commonly used methods for disposal. Preventing the growth of microorganisms in medical waste with humidity, heat, and pressure is explained as sterilization with steam. The most known steam sterilization is done with an autoclave device. An autoclave is a steam sterilization device with a vacuum process.
One of the methods used for dispose of medical waste is the burial method. We can say that it is a method used in pathological wastes. However, it is possible to say that there is a primitive system among the methods used. Microorganisms mixed with wastes and underground are not preferred because they can cause diseases.
Irradiation methods used for the dispose of medical waste are made using radiation. Therefore, we can say that it is risky for those who perform this operation. The rate of destruction of pathogens may differ according to the dose given during the procedure.
Incineration at High Temperatures
The incineration method is ideal, especially for pathological wastes treated with any chemical substance. However, in this method, it is essential to comply with the provisions of the Regulation on Incineration of Wastes published in the Official Gazette dated 6/10/2010 and numbered 27721 in Turkey. If high-temperature incineration is used for medical waste disposal, there are some criteria to be considered.
Wastes containing high levels of mercury and cadmium, radiological wastes containing silver salts, light bulbs, and pressure vessels containing heavy metals cannot be used for incineration. However, in case of an emergency, medical wastes can be disposed of in incineration or co-incineration facilities by providing the necessary conditions.
Medical Waste Disposal Regulation
The dispose of medical waste is among the vital processes in the health sector. It affects both patients and employees. Therefore, it is very important that it is controlled by legal regulations and that organizations are subject to it.
Legal regulations regarding medical wastes, the first legal regulation is the Regulation on Control of Medical Wastes, which was published in the Official Gazette dated 22.07.2005 and numbered 25883 in Turkey. This regulation has been prepared to meet the needs in practice following the relevant provisions of the 2872 Environmental Law.
According to Article 9 of the Medical Waste Control Regulation, municipalities are responsible for taking medical wastes from temporary waste storages and transporting them to the disposal site, and establishing, and operating medical waste disposal/sterilization facilities.
What is the Purpose of the Medical Waste Regulation?
The purpose of the Turkish Medical Waste Regulation is to ensure this in all areas where human health and environmental protection are important. The amount of medical waste production also differs between countries. It is observed that the rate of these is higher in developed countries. However, the factors affecting the waste rate may be the type of hospital and clinic, the number of inpatients, and the occupancy rate.
Regardless of the institution, care should be taken to take measures following the regulation, taking into account the risks that may arise from these wastes. It is also very important for the development of the health sector that medical wastes are properly classified according to their type, stored in medical waste cabinets, and transported to disposal vehicles on time.
You can read our previous article from https://coolermed.com/maintenance-of-blood-bank-refrigerator/.