Why is it better to eliminate infectious medical waste onsite? How to handle proper disposal?
Eliminating infectious medical waste onsite is becoming increasingly popular as a more practical, and safer way to handle the disposal of hazardous materials at the site of hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities. With COVID pandemic cases on the rise again, it is even more important for medical sites to prevent the spread of infections towards other patients and staff members.
This of course requires the right equipment as well that enables you to eliminate infectious medical waste onsite. Regardless of the current coronavirus pandemic, finding the right solution to safely treat hazardous materials either onsite or offsite is the duty and responsibility of the medical facility where the waste was generated.
In Celitron’s next article, we will discuss why it is better to eliminate infectious medical waste onsite, as well as how you can easily do it with our own patented waste disposal solution!
What is infectious medical waste and why is onsite elimination a better option?
Infectious medical waste is one of the most hazardous kinds of waste that a clinical facility can generate. Any waste that has the potential to spread dangerous infections towards people can be labeled as infectious medical waste. Most of this waste is generated during the treatment of patients who themselves represent a risk of infection.
The “traditional” way of dealing with infectious medical waste is eliminating it offsite. This requires hospitals and clinics to collect and segregate all potentially hazardous remains in special containers, which then need to be stored in a separate area, as far as possible from the more populated areas of the facility. The waste then needs to be transported away by a licensed infectious medical waste removal company, which will take the waste to its final disposal place at a select landfill. There, the waste will most probably be destroyed by an incinerator.
The main issue with this method of eliminating infectious medical waste is that up until the waste is completely destroyed, it will still represent a risk of infection during storage and transportation. This is especially true for larger facilities that generate a large amount of waste each day. Eliminating infectious medical waste onsite means the waste will already be sterile before transportation and doesn’t represent any risk of infection at the site of the hospital either.
What kind of methods can be employed to eliminate infectious medical waste onsite?
The elimination of infectious medical waste can be done with onsite incinerators as well, though they are less practical, less sustainable, and more expensive to operate than other, more modern solutions. Autoclaving (i.e. steam sterilization) is an excellent way to not only sterilize certain types of medical waste but also allows for the reuse of medical tools. However, not all materials are autoclavable, and infectious waste requires an even more serious treatment. This is especially true in the case of pathological waste and outdated vaccines. Medical sharps also need to be stored in puncture-resistant containers to avoid accidental cuts or stings to the skin, and have to be shredded to be safely eliminated.
Celitron has developed a special solution for eliminating infectious medical waste onsite by combining the benefits of autoclaving with a medical waste shredder!
What kind of materials can you treat onsite with Celitron’s infectious waste disposal system?
The ISS (Integrated Sterilizer and Shredder) can eliminate all kinds of infectious medical waste right at the site of your facility, including:
- Needles, sharps waste containers
- Medical waste contaminated with blood/blood by-products
- Discarded diagnostic samples containing blood and body fluids
- Medical waste originating from isolation ward patients
- Surgical equipment (e.g. the metal blade of scalpels)
- Vaccine roller bottles and other cell culture dishes, specimen containers
- Almost any potentially infectious material, including textiles, bandages, swabs, glass, papers, plastic, and disposable medical instruments
What kind of materials SHOULD NOT be put into Celitron’s infectious waste disposal system?
Non-segregated medical wastes like:
- Pharmaceuticals: unused, contaminated, or expire medicines (including vaccines and serums)
- Oversized metal objects like scissors and mercury thermometers (only small metal parts like needles can be treated in the ISS)
- Chemical waste like disinfectants etc.
- Pathological waste: identifiable human body parts
- Genotoxic waste: very hazardous waste such as cytotoxic medicines used for the treatment of cancer
- Radioactive waste, e.g. any material used during radiotherapy
Celitron’s infectious waste disposal system – how does it work?
Thanks to high-pressure and high-temperature steam of 134 degrees Celsius, as well as powerful crushing blades, the ISS is extremely effective at eliminating infectious medical waste onsite.
It drastically reduces all the risks associated with storing and transporting potentially hazardous waste, since you will be able to immediately treat all waste on-site. The ISS can also treat infectious medical waste containers, making the process even easier. After loading the machine, the entire process is done automatically and can be launched with the push of a button. In about 15-35 minutes, you will be able to treat up to 150 kgs worth of infectious medical waste!
All liquid components of the hospital waste will be steamed out of the vessel of the ISS, and drained to a municipal sewer, eliminating the risk of contaminated wastewater as well.
In a nutshell, after the infectious medical waste elimination process is over, the waste you collect will be 100% free of any foreign materials, dry, reduced to about 20% of its original volume, and can be thrown away just like regular trash. No need for special storage, no need to pay for high transportation costs related to handling hazardous waste.
Other benefits to using the Integrated Sterilizer and Shredder to eliminate infectious medical waste onsite
Green operation: no harmful substances emitted, and no bad odors thanks to a closed vessel system and special air filters. Perfect for reducing the environmental footprint of your medical facility, and adhering to current environmental regulations.
Cost-effective operation: the ISS’s energy-saving mode not only results in a more sustainable operation but in lower operational costs as well.
Flexible size: the ISS has different models with varying capacities ranging from 25l to 560l. Choose the one most suited to the needs of your medical facility!
Special safety features: the doors of the machine cannot be opened while temperature and pressure levels aren’t back to normal.
If you’re searching for a practical, safe, and highly-effective way to eliminate infectious medical waste onsite, then you certainly won’t be disappointed by Celitron’s Integrated Sterilizer and Shredder. Its cost-effective operation is ideal for any facility looking for a sustainable and long-term solution that adheres to all regulations concerning the disposal of infectious medical waste.