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What Are the Best Practices for Medical Waste Handling?

Medical waste seggregation

Healthcare workers must be aware of the best practices for handling medical waste. They should be aware of the laws and guidelines issued by relevant authorities and be able to classify and separate all types of waste into the specific color-coded containers. Here is a brief discussion about the best practices for medical waste disposal.

  • Healthcare waste management is regulated by several government authorities. It is vital for the healthcare workers to be aware of the guidelines issued by these agencies related to the segregation, transfer, and disposal of medical waste.
  • Waste should be segregated into the different categories such as sharps, chemical, pharmaceutical, non-hazardous, and pathological.

  • The color-coding system for the segregation of waste calls for the sharps to go into red, puncture-resistant containers while other biohazardous waste should go into red bags or containers.
  • Yellow containers are meant for chemo waste and pharmaceutical waste can go into black containers.
  • Radioactive wastes such as iodine-131 and Fluorine-18 need to be put in shielded containers that are marked with the radioactive symbol.

  • Be aware that some waste needs to be disposed into certified cardboard boxes, while some are disposed into special tubs.

  • Proper documentation of medical waste must accompany when the waste is being transported to off-site locations. Proper paperwork is mandatory for each bag and container throughout the process of transportation as well as disposal.