What Is Medical Waste and How Can Handle It?

Medical waste is one of the biggest challenges faced by healthcare providers in this era.

Some examples of medical waste such as blood baths (gloves, gauze, etc.), human or animal tissue created during treatment procedures, any waste generated from patients’ rooms with infectious diseases, and disposed vaccine.

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Medical waste is any type of waste that is possibly or potentially have infectious material. It usually comes from health facilities such as doctors’ offices, hospitals, dental practices, laboratories, medical research facilities, and veterinary clinics. Medical waste can contain fluids such as blood or other. Medical waste comes after medical research, testing, diagnosis, immunization, or human or animal care.

Some examples of medical waste are culture plates, cups, bandages, gloves, discarded sharp objects such as needles or scalpels, swabs, and tissues.

The term “medical waste” includes a variety of different products from the health care industry. The following are the most common categories of medical waste as identified by WHO:

Sharp object. This type of waste includes anything that can penetrate the skin, including needles, scalpels, broken glass, razors, ampoules, staples, and cables.

Infectious Waste. Anything contagious or potentially contagious falls into this category, including tissue, feces, equipment, and laboratory culture.

Radioactive. This type of waste is generally radiotherapy or laboratory research fluid that is no longer used. It can also consist of glass or other supplies that are contaminated with this liquid.

Pathology. Contaminated human fluids, tissues, blood, body parts, body fluids, and animal carcasses include this category of waste.

Drugs. This grouping includes all vaccines and drugs that are no longer used, expired, and contaminated, such as antibiotics, injections, and pills.

Chemical material. These include disinfectants, solvents used for laboratory purposes, batteries, and heavy metals from medical equipment such as mercury from broken thermometers.

Genotoxic waste. This is a very dangerous form of medical waste that is carcinogenic, teratogenic, or mutagenic. This includes cytotoxic drugs that are intended to be used in the treatment of cancer.

Who Is at Risk of Medical Waste? People who have a high risk of being contaminated by medical waste are, of course, health workers, patients, waste collection and disposal officers, and the surrounding environment. Medical waste can cause bad effects if it is managed improperly.