To make sure that anatomical waste bin does not get into our environment, rules and guidelines were created for the producers of medical waste in the manner of handling the treatment and disposal of the medical waste.
Environmental sustainability is continuing to be a top concern and new infections like Ebola and Coronavirus (COVID-19) have raised concerns about the transmission of diseases and the special handling required to dispose of biomedical waste.
Therefore, it is more essential than ever for healthcare professionals to be aware of the proper handling and disposal for biomedical waste.
What Is Biomedical Waste?
Biomedical waste refers to any product those results from an examination or during immunisation. It can also be produce in research projects or other processes that require biological testing.
Healthcare waste refers to any waste that is saturated with semi-liquid or liquid blood or any other potentially infectious materials (OPIM) which has the possibility of causing human harm or causing infection to humans.
While there isn’t a standardised term for medical wastes, many provincial agencies distinguish between substances that are prone to spread infection, and have regulations regarding the collection, transportation and treatment as well as disposal.
Non-anatomical waste: objects that are which are visibly or tangibly contaminated with blood or other substances that could infect others like gauze, bandages as well as personal protection equipment like gowns, gloves, goggles, plastic tubing, and other garments.
Sharps waste includes scalpels, needles, lancets, syringes and any other object that has be subject to infectious materials and can be use to puncture humans’ skin (e.g. broken glass)
Pathological (or anatomical) wastes: limbs, tissues, specimens (decanted out of the preservatives)
Trace chemotherapy wastes: include masks gowns, gloves and masks empty vials and empty intravenous bags tubing and bottles that were used for the administration of chemotherapeutic medications
Laboratory wastes: culture and stock that are contaminated with human pathogens that causes disease
Who Generates Biomedical Waste?
The majority of healthcare waste management is generated by facilities including hospitals as well as doctors’ offices, dental facilities, research facilities, surgeries centres, and veterinarians. But these facilities aren’t the only ones. Funeral homes and tattoo parlours also produce biomedical waste.
There are many methods of treatment for disposing of biomedical waste. The two most popular techniques are:
Autoclaving is probably the most widely use method of treatment.
Waste is subject to temperatures to encourage combustion or burning. The remaining remains of the ash is take to the landfill to be dispose of.
Certain substances, such as hazardous wastes, waste pharmaceuticals and trace chemotherapeutic and toxic wastes must be separate and burn to ensure their proper destruction.
What Is The Process For Regulating Biomedical Waste Managed?
In the case of the Environmental Protection Act, the Ministry of the Environment regulates biomedical waste, stating that the waste is to be properly separate and treat.
In addition to federal and provincial laws or regulations there exist a variety of guidelines and standards that specify how biomedical waste must be handle from the moment of production to its final disposal.
This includes the Canadian Biosafety guidelines and standards and guidelines, they include the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment guidelines for the disposal of biomedical waste, as well as a variety of Canadian Standards Association (CSA) standards for managing healthcare waste as well as disposal of sharps.
The biomedical waste that is generate by hospitals and other businesses is completely regulate There are specific rules and guidelines for consumer-generate biomedical waste across the majority of provinces.
The Biomedical Waste Categories, Definitions And Disposal Management
The waste generate in the healthcare industry could in large part be regard in the category of hazardous waste. The environmental and health risks associate with this waste could be identify and the rules to manage it can be distinct from the waste produce in other sectors.
Why Should We Pay More Attention To The Dangers Of Medical Waste Disposal?
According to the position paper issued by WHO, the United Nations’ World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2000, the improper handling of waste from medical treatment (primarily making use of hypodermic needles infected and Syringes) led to the following outbreaks all over the world:
- Hepatitis B 21 million cases;
- Hepatitis C 2 million cases; and
- HIV: 260,000 infections.
The above graphs show how crucial a suitable treatment of waste from medical facilities is. In accordance with the WHO directive hazardous waste must be handle as close to the source of its production as is possible.
The risks associated with transport of hazardous waste are significant, with the potential risk in certain materials (e.g. those that carry infectious diseases) increasing daily. The rightly located and equipped facilities for disposal of waste can reduce the necessity of transporting hazardous substances.
The majority of hospital waste is infect biological material or objects that, even though they are regard as “communal” waste, they are actually contamination. This includes the bandages, textiles, syringes and other items that are expose to infections through contacts with the patients.
The majority of the waste that hospitals generate is comprise of surgical instruments, like surgical implants, as well as other instruments used in operations.
Biomedical Waste Of Various Types
Infectious waste refers to safe management of healthcare waste that may contain pathogens (bacteria or viruses, parasites or even fungi) in sufficient amount or in sufficient quantity to cause illness on susceptible hosts. This comprises:
- culture and stocks of infective agents in labs;
- waste products from autopsies and operations on patients with infections (e.g. body tissues, instruments or materials that have come in contact with blood and other bodily fluids);
the waste that comes from patients who are infect on isolation rooms (e.g. urine and faeces as well as dressings that have be contaminate and surgical injuries, clothing that has be heavy soil by blood or other bodily fluids);
Infectious materials that contain dead tissues may contain potentially harmful and/or transmissible infectious agents. These include blood tissue, body fluids, organs, body parts, organs, human foetuses and animal carcasses.
A subcategory of clinical waste bin collection that is considered to be pathological is consisting of distinct body organs and tissues either healthy or not.
Sharps are things that are sharp enough to cut or puncture skin e.g. scalpels, knives, blades such as infusion sets, needles and hypodermic needles, broken glass, saws, nails, etc. They are able to transmit infections directly into bloodstreams.
Sharps are usually regard as extremely hazardous medical waste, regardless of whether they’re contamination-free or not.
Concerning sharp waste, particular attention should be give to: transfusion, infusion and perfusion sets including butterfly needles, cannulas disposable scalpel blades; razors as well as hemodialysis sets, laboratory slides breakable glass bottles (bacteriological and clinical labs) ampoules with solution residues.
Two methods are utilise to reduce the threat of infection that sharps can cause – by decreasing their infectiousness or sharpness.
The first option generally involves formulating treatment methods for sharps that are often more stringent than those that are use to treat toxic waste. Another option is the removal of the sharps (typically in containers that are specially design for this purpose) and the mechanical treatment of them or enclosure.
A number of states have strict guidelines for sharps containers with measures for ensuring their puncture-resistant and clear labelling. Certain states require sharps to cut or blunt mechanically in some states, and others require them to be non-identifiable.