Waste Management & Recycling Solutions

Clinical Waste Collection and Management Starts at Home

The number of medical facilities and nursing homes in our surroundings are growing exponentially and so is increasing the amount of the clinical and healthcare waste with every passing. This has made clinical waste collection and management as another necessity for physical well being. It is very important to understand what exactly is clinical waste and how can you manage the waste collection at your own premises be it your home or work place.

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The Control Waste Regulations, 1992 gives us the definition of clinical waste.

Any waste produced from medical, pharmaceutical, dental, nursing, veterinary or similar professions, which may have a harmful effect and result in a disease to any human coming in contact with it, is rendered as Clinical waste. Clinical waste includes

  • Waste containing animal or human tissues
  • Blood, excreta and other body fluids
  • Pharmaceutical waste products including drugs
  • Dressings and cotton swabs
  • Syringes or other pointy instruments

Such waste is usually considered as hazardous because of the presence of harmful chemicals or microorganisms in it. But, it should be noted that not all the healthcare waste is hazardous. The non-hazardous clinical waste consists of

  • Clinical waste produced out of non-health care activity
  • Medicinal waste separated and identified as non-hazardous

Clinical waste such as syringes and dressings and can also be produced from non-healthcare activities like tattooing, body-piercing and minor cosmetic treatments.

Domestic Clinical Waste

The Clinical waste is usually produced in the hospitals or other medical facilities, nursing homes, pharmaceutical facilities or similar health care related premises in large quantities. If someone in your home is undergoing a medical treatment, you may also come under the category of small clinical waste producer.

Under such circumstances, you should not only maintain hygiene and cleanliness in your home but also abide by the regulations for clinical waste collection. We are sharing some tips to help you deal with the waste collection at your home in a better way.

  • Talk to your Doctor

Consult with your general practitioner or nurse to identify the different types of clinical waste produced in your home. The categories for classification may include

 

  • Contaminated sharp instruments including needles, cartridges or phials which may have been contaminated

 

  • Contaminated material from patients suffering from the pathogenic diseases like Crimean Hemorrhagic fever or severe acute respiratory syndrome. The complete list of these diseases can be found at your nearest medical centre

 

  • Dressings or swabs containing free-flowing blood or clotted with blood

 

  • Other waste that may pose a significant risk to human health

 

  • Waste Segregation at Source

It is very important to segregate clinical waste from other domestic waste at the point of production to avoid secondary handling of the waste. It poses a danger of possible infections and other health hazards for the waste management workmen.

 

  • Use the special secure containers for clinical waste collection

Store all the clinical waste from your household in leak proof and strong yellow or orange sacks which can be temporarily sealed whilst the sack is not full and permanently once the sack is full. This will minimize the human exposure and protect you from infections.

 

The exception to the above rule is that the waste containing sharp instruments should be kept in separate yellow boxes labelled as ‘sharps box’.

 

  • Adult and children disposable nappies should not be kept with clinical waste as it can be disposed in the landfills

 

  • Contact an authorized waste collector for the subsequent handling and treatment of the clinical waste

 

  • Do not fill the waste collection sacks above the warning line or 80% level of the complete sack volume

 

  • Maintain hygiene even while sealing the sack and make sure to properly wash your hands after handling the waste

 

  • Label or tag the waste sacks with your name and address along with the date of sealing with permanent black ink.

 

  • Waste with chemical residues such as a broken mercury thermometer is considered as chemical waste and should be kept segregated from the other clinical waste

 

  • Make sure a daily waste collection from your house as the clinical waste decomposes rapidly and may cause foul odour in your surroundings

 

  • Take all the necessary precaution to prevent any risk while handling the waste

 

  • Needless to say that keep the waste collection area inaccessible to children

 

Clinical Waste Collection at Commercial Premises

Hospitals, clinics, medical centres, veterinary, dentist, medical research laboratories, nursing homes or any other medical establishments, all falls under the healthcare activities which produces clinical waste. Apart from these, the clinical waste is also produced from non-healthcare activities like tattooing and body-piercing centres and beauty clinics.

It is furthermore necessary for these facilities to take extra precautions in handling clinical waste collection so as to prevent it from entering the municipal solid waste disposal chain. Following are some of the precautions you should take if you are the owner of any such facility.

  • The appointed personals for the management of clinical waste collection and the staff involved in handling the clinical waste should be trained appropriately

 

  • Minimize the direct handling of the waste containers with the help of bins with wheels, trolley or transit skips etc.

 

  • All the different kinds of clinical waste should be identified, segregated and kept in different containers with proper labels

 

  • Strong, leak proof and safe containers as specified by the should be used to store clinical waste

 

  • Keep the waste storage area clean, dry and airy

 

  • Make sure that no person is allowed to eat, drink or smoke while handling clinical waste

 

  • Adhere to all the health and safety requirements under the relevant government regulations and ordinances

 

  • Personal hygiene practices should be observed by the staff involved in waste collection and handling

 

  • Suitable procedures must be defined and followed emergency situations such as leakage or spillage

 

As a responsible citizen, it is our duty to abide by the laws and regulations with respect to the clinical waste collection. It helps us in the prevention of fatal diseases and thus ensures our healthy and safe life.

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