Isolation Waste Disposal Processes. Patients with highly communicable diseases are often placed in isolation rooms for their medical care. Isolation rooms generally produce higher amounts of waste than a non-isolated patient.
The wastes are deposited in the previously designated containers: which typically includes four container types for disposal of solid wastes generated during patient care.
Patient rooms typically feature, sharps containers located inside patient rooms for needles and other items that can puncture skin, red bags located inside patient rooms used to collect biomedical waste, and clear bags used for unregulated solid waste, such as paper towels discarded after handwashing. Black bags located just outside the door to patient rooms were dedicated to disposal of single-use isolation gowns, gloves, and unregulated solid waste PPE items.
Within the healthcare isolation environment, there are two main classifications of solid waste:
Biohazardous, Medical or Biomedical waste is generally, potentially pathogenic that requires special handling and waste disposal procedures. This waste includes microbiology waste, blood products, bloody body fluid specimens, pathology and anatomy waste, sharps, and other items described in your state specific guidelines. Items that are classified as sharps such as anything that can puncture the skin are also classified as medical waste and must be disposed of in leak-resistant, rigid, puncture-resistant containers.
The other waste is Unregulated Solid Waste from Isolation Procedures
To fight the spread of infection from hospitalized patients with highly communicable diseases the unregulated waste such as uncontaminated caps, gowns, and gloves are removed just prior to leaving the isolation room and discarded immediately after preventing infection spread.
As a result, greater volumes of unregulated solid waste are generated when these isolation precautions are implemented. This adds to the increasing volume of waste generated from disposable patient care supplies used in all care settings.
There have been studies that question the effectiveness of the disposable patient care supplies that generate higher levels of unregulated solid waste per patient and contribute to higher amounts of non-regulated waste being deposited in our local landfills.
One way to combat this is to task bundle, by decreasing the number of room entries, it will decrease the amount of non-regulated solid waste being generated.
Once the waste containers reach the full mark they are removed and treated by waste type. The disposal process is the same for isolation room medical waste and unregulated solid waste as it is for non-isolation rooms.
Unregulated Solid Waste – Isolation unregulated solid waste will follow the same disposal process as any unregulated solid waste in your facility. There should be a clear path that limits contact with the public and patients when moving unregulated solid waste throughout your facility. Unregulated solid waste will include the clear and black bags for disposal.
Sharps Waste – When your sharps container is full it must be sealed or locked with the lid and then may be placed in your biohazard box or bin for safe disposal.
Biohazard Disposal – Treatment and disposal of biohazardous waste is dependent upon the subcategory of the waste. Treatments are required to render the biohazard waste harmless, and, in many cases, the residue can be placed in a sanitary landfill.
Should you have any questions concerning Isolation Waste Disposal and its process do not hesitate to contact us Today!
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