Medical waste contains infectious materials that can affect the human health if not properly handled or disposed. Healthcare providers ensure that all medical waste are properly disposed by professional medical waste disposal services. Categorically there are eight (8) types of medical waste. Namely;
- Infectious Waste: This type of medical waste includes all infectious materials such as tissues, swabs, excreta, lab cultures and potentially infectious equipment.
- Sharps: This category of medical waste includes items that can pierce the skin. They are used needles, lancets and razors, broken glass, ampoules and wires.
- Pathological: This category of medical waste includes blood, tissues, other human body parts and animal carcasses.
- Radioactive- All unused radiotherapy liquid and items contaminated with this liquid are grouped under this medical waste category.
- Chemical- Disinfectants, solvents, batteries and mercury are examples of chemical medical waste.
- Pharmaceuticals- Pharmaceuticals medical waste as the name implies include all unused, contaminated and expired vaccines, drugs, pills, antibiotics and injectables.
- Genotoxic Waste- This category of medical waste is highly hazardous. They are carcinogenic, teratogenic, or mutagenic. Cytotoxic drugs used for the treatment of cancer falls under this category.
- General Non-Regulated Medical Waste- This type of medical waste is also known as non-hazardous waste. They include materials that are not harmful.
Healthcare providers can avoid some medical waste problems by classifying and separating all waste into different waste containers. Each waste container should be labeled according to its category. These waste containers should be kept in clearly marked areas before disposal.
Medical waste disposal services experts knows how to contain harmful microorganisms. There are several methods of medical waste disposal available for healthcare providers to choose from. This article will further discuss some of the types/method of medical waste disposal.
- Incineration- This method of medical waste disposal service involves total elimination of hazardous waste by burning. It is commonly used for pathological waste. Pathological waste include body parts, blood and other bodily fluids. Incineration medical waste disposal is one of the common method used for disposing medical waste over the years.
- Microwaving- This method of medical waste disposal is done by placing the hazardous materials in high-powered equipment. Microwaving is a method of rendering hazardous waste non-hazardous. Thereafter, the waste can be incinerated or disposed off.
- Biological- This involves the use of enzymes to neutralize hazardous medical waste. This experimental method of treating biomedical waste is rarely used.
- Autoclaving- This method of waste disposal service is very similar to Microwaving. It involves steam sterilization in order to render biohazard waste non-infectious. Once it is properly sterilized, the waste can be disposed off normally or incinerated.
- Chemical- This method of medical waste disposal service is applicable for waste that is chemical in nature. It involves applying reactive chemicals on the waste to neutralize it.
It is important for healthcare employees to adhere to the guidelines formulated by the waste regulatory agency in order to safely keep, transfer and dispose hazardous waste