Blood contaminated medical waste disposal – How can you safely dispose of body fluids?
Blood medical waste disposal also falls under the responsibility of clinics and hospitals. So how do you dispose of medical waste with blood? In Celitron’s next article, we will discuss all the basics you should keep in mind whenever handling items contaminated by body fluids at your facility!
What is blood contaminated waste? What do medical facilities need to look out for?
Blood contaminated waste can be any material that has come into contact with blood. This includes medical equipment and items like Personal Protective Equipment (PPE),gauze, bandages, swabs, bloody gloves, as well as blood in tubes and suction canisters. Blood by-products, dialysis waste, spinal fluids, bodily secretions, and saliva can all result in the spread of infection to other patients and medical staff, and therefore need to be handled with extra care.
This means any material that has the potential to release blood when compacted in a waste container also requires special treatment.
In the worst-case scenarios, hospital and clinic staff who are exposed to bloodborne pathogens can be at risk of contracting even life-threatening diseases. Unfortunately, this can be the case even if the spillage of body fluids is smaller than a plate, as pathogens can still be present regardless, and pose a healthcare risk. Examples include Hepatitis B and C, MRSA, and HIV.
This is why blood contaminated waste is considered to be a biohazard. Infectious medical waste presents serious safety and compliance challenges for all hospitals and clinics, but with the right procedures and some quality on-site equipment, you can greatly reduce the risk of transmittable diseases.
Blood medical waste disposal – Basic safety procedures
Wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
During the clean-up and collection of blood contaminated waste and bodily fluids, the main risk for medical staff is contracting diseases via hand-to-eye, nose, or mouth contact, or even via cracked skin. Even without the presence of medical waste with blood, the products used during the clean-up procedure might also have some harmful properties and could irritate the skin or damage the eyes of staff.
This is why it is highly recommended for anyone to wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) whenever handling the disposal of medical waste contaminated with blood. The golden rule is the following: any part of the body or clothing that could come into contact with medical waste contaminated by blood or bodily fluids needs to be covered up.
This equipment set includes:
- Abrasion-resistant and waterproof gloves (in case of sharps disposal, needle-resistant gloves should be used)
- Disposable waterproof overshoes
- Disposable plastic apron
- Disposable coveralls with a hood
- Protection for the eyes
Cleaning up medical waste with blood
In addition to PPE, hospitals and clinics also need to have the following equipment to handle blood contaminated medical waste disposal safely:
- A disinfectant cleaning product
- A cloth, a mop, or a sponge for wiping surfaces with disinfectant
- A dustpan and brush, or scraper
- Absorbent powder
- Warning cones or boards
- Waste bags or medical waste containers marked with the biohazard sign (they are usually red or yellow)
After restricting access to contaminated areas and putting on PPE, staff first need to sprinkle absorbent powder over the spilled fluids. After the powder turns into a gel, it can be scraped up and put into biohazard waste bags. Afterwards, you will need to disinfect and sterilize the affected surfaces.
After the clean-up procedure, you should always assume that every piece of equipment used is contaminated, and therefore needs to be disinfected or disposed of completely.
Personal protective equipment made from cloth/linen, polypropylene, and polycarbonate is also suitable for steam sterilization in Celitron’s autoclaves and can then be reused again for handling blood contaminated waste. This allows hospitals and clinics to avoid PPE shortages more easily and reuse important equipment needed to treat patients instead of throwing it away.
Removing PPE must be done carefully to ensure staff doesn’t contaminate themselves:
- Hands need to be washed with gloves still on if there is any visible sign of contamination, and then dried with absorbent material
- Staff still need to keep their gloves on when removing other PPE, and must avoid touching their skin or clothing
- Gloves will need to be washed a second time since they came into contact with potentially infectious materials, and then removed by peeling them off from the inside to out
- PPE can then be bagged and prepped for either disposal or steam sterilization with Celitron’s autoclaves
Blood contaminated medical waste disposal with Celitron’s Integrated Sterilizer and Shredder – Safely treating items contaminated by body fluids
Celitron has developed its own on-site solution to help hospitals and clinics handle blood contaminated medical waste disposal more easily.
Our Integrated Sterilizer and Shredder can steam out, recondense, and drain all liquid components of the waste to a municipal sewer. It uses high-pressure and high-temperature steam at 134 degrees Celsius to kill all potentially infectious bacteria present on soiled materials. The waste is also shredded and reduced to about 20% of its original size.
In a nutshell, any load that comes out of the ISS is smaller, free of blood and bodily fluids, completely dry, and can be thrown away like regular municipal waste!
The ISS can handle the disposal of:
- Medical waste contaminated with blood/blood by-products
- Discarded diagnostic samples containing blood and body fluids
- Lab cultures and specimens
- Dialysis waste
- Sharps, syringes, glass
- Complete sharps containers
- Organic materials
What kind of materials SHOULD NOT be put into Celitron’s blood contaminated waste disposal system?
- Oversized metallic objects, like a pair of scissors (only small metal parts like medical sharps can be treated in the ISS)
- Pharmaceuticals (unused, contaminated, or expired medicines)
- Chemical waste (such as disinfectants)
- Pathological waste (human body parts)
- Genotoxic waste (cytotoxic medicines used for the treatment of cancer)
- Radioactive medical waste, radiotherapy waste
If you’re looking for a blood contaminated medical waste disposal method that is in line with EU and WHO recommendations and can be easily installed and used right at the site of your medical facility, then you can count on the reliability of Celitron’s ISS. Our Integrated Sterilizer and Shredder excels at treating sharps and other materials contaminated by bodily fluids.
To learn more about the specifications of our on-site solution for blood medical waste disposal: CLICK ON THIS LINK
We are also prepared to answer any questions you may have and offer you a personalized quote suited to the needs of your facility. For a free quote, just CONTACT THE CELITRON TEAM!