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Why It's Important to Segregate Medical Waste in Medical Institutions

Proper waste segregation isn’t limited to household waste – proper segregation of medical waste is required to maintain a healthy environment in medical institutions. After all, medical institutions such as a hospital are where an infection is supposed to end, not where it starts.Proper segregation of medical waste is necessary to prevent and curb the spread of infectious diseases and is instrumental in keeping a sanitary environment for both hospital workers and patients alike.The Hazards Posed by Medical Waste. While 85% of the waste generated by healthcare institutions are mostly non-hazardous according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the remaining 15% still is.

These wastes are infectious and can carry various infectious pathogens and microorganisms that can spread harmful diseases and infections.These pathogens can enter through various ways such as inhalation, ingestion, and even punctures. For example, in 1992, around eight cases in France of HIV infection were determined to be caused by occupational hazards due to improper medical waste disposal. Something similar happened in the US in June 1994, with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) determining that out of the 39 cases of HIV infections, 32 were infected via needle injections while the others were infected via occupational hazards such as glass injuries, blade injuries, and skin exposure. These cases rose significantly in the following years, with most of the infected being medical professionals.

Bottom Line

Medical institutions such as hospitals are vital parts of the community as they provide the necessary medical assistance to those who need it. This is why properly disposing of medical waste such as syringes, gauzes, and other wastes that may carry infectious pathogens is important.Doing so will help prevent the further spread of infectious diseases and promotes a healthier and more sanitary environment for both hospital workers and patients alike.