- Small health care providers (infirmaries, dispensaries, primary health care clinics, outpatient clinics, rural health centers)
- Medical centers; general medicine
- Medical clinics (dentists, gynecologists, eye consultants, etc.)
- Independent nurses
- Veterinary doctors and clinics
- Hospitalized patients and/or home-based hemodialysis
- Vaccination centers
- Nursing homes; retirement homes
Medical and biohazardous waste
Health care facilities and small health care providers generate medical waste of a varying nature:
- Hazardous waste:
- Infectious waste (biohazardous)
- Radioactive waste
- Chemical/toxic waste
- Non-hazardous waste, related to municipal solid waste (MSW)
- Human anatomical waste
Each provider must implement a waste treatment procedure for handing the various types of waste generated. Therefore, it is important to segregate waste after care or a medical intervention has been performed.
In particular, implementing a waste segregation and disposal procedure for biohazardous waste is essential in preventing nosocomial infections (health care-associated infections).
The rate at which biohazardous waste is generated in medical centers and small health care providers varies and depends on the number of patients treated, and the quality of segregation carried out.
What type of waste is produced by medical centers and health care providers?
Infectious waste originating from medical centers and other health care providers has a very diverse nature:
- Contaminated single-use material: surgical drapes, gauzes, compresses, bandages, etc.
- Personal protection equipment: gloves, gowns, tapes, coveralls, goggles, masks, caps, shoe covers, etc.
- Contaminated sharps: needles, syringes, scalpels, lancets, blades, slides, etc.
- Single-use care kits (including small plastic or metal instruments)
- Single-use surgical instruments
- Plastic or glass lab consumables: Petri dishes, test tubes, collection tubes, pipettes, etc.
- Hemodialysis waste
- Liquid biohazardous waste or waste containing fluids
Specific nature of biohazardous waste in medical centers and small health care facilities
In general, medical waste is packaged in bags (that may be autoclaved or not), biohazardous waste containers or drums.
Segregating and managing this waste satisfactorily in these facilities is paramount. Here, the quantity of biohazardous waste generated is light to moderate and there is a tendency to minimize the risk that this waste represents. Nonetheless, the biological risk must be controlled, not only for the health care professionals and the environment, but also to prevent cross-contamination and nosocomial infections.
Given these facilities are often found in isolated locations, far from urban hubs and/or in difficult to access areas, it is important that each center has a simple, effective on-site biohazardous waste treatment system.
- Solid and liquid biohazardous waste treatment
- Shredding and decontamination stages in the same equipment
- Solid waste physically transformed (shredding)
- Decontamination by autoclave (steam sterilization at 135 °C/275 °F)
- Steam penetrates the waste core thanks to prior shredding
- Complete treatment cycle in 30 min
- Weight/volume of waste to dispose significantly reduced
- Easily installed on-site