Medical waste sterilization systems – This is how an on-site plant treats infectious materials
Having some sort of medical waste sterilization system in place is not only a safety issue. Every medical facility, from small clinics to large hospitals is bound by law and environmental regulations to deal with the waste they generate. For some facilities, disposal occurs by transporting the waste away to an off-site medical waste sterilization plant.
But what if we told you that you could do all this on-site and have your medical waste already sterilized?
In Celitron’s next article, we will discuss the basic procedure of sterilization as well as our own on-site plant: the Integrated Sterilizer and Shredder system!
About medical waste sterilization – Why you need to have a system in place
The main reason why medical waste requires sterilization is quite simple: it’s the only way to make sure all potentially infectious materials are destroyed. Cleaning and disinfection procedures cannot produce the same results, which is also why surgical tools need to be sterilized before an operation. One of the easiest ways to achieve that is by using an autoclave – a pressure-cooker-like machine available in a variety of sizes to suit the needs of different facilities and allow the reuse of medical tools without the risk of infections spreading.
In the worst-case scenarios, medical staff and patients can even contract life-threatening diseases via sharps or blood contaminated medical waste. It is your responsibility to ensure a safe environment for all. Not to mention that if you fail to do so, you will need to pay some hefty fines. You will have to find a medical waste sterilization system, whether you choose an off-site or on-site solution.
How to handle the medical waste sterilization process – Protection, Storage, Decontamination, Transportation
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Whenever handling medical waste that requires sterilization to be free of pathogens, staff need to make sure that they protect themselves appropriately. Even cracked skin can be an opening for an infection to spread. Not to mention that the materials used in basic disinfection and clean-up procedures can also be harmful to human health.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) needs to cover all parts of the body to avoid contact with infectious materials, such as items contaminated by blood or body fluids.
- Protection for the eyes
- Disposable coveralls with a hood
- Disposable waterproof overshoes
- Disposable plastic apron
- Waterproof and abrasion-resistant gloves
- Puncture-resistant gloves for handling sharps
Segregating and storing medical waste
Puncture-proof and leak-proof containers are a must for ensuring that no unwanted incidents occur during the collection and storage of medical waste before sterilization can occur. This is especially important in the case of sharps, as they can easily pierce through trash bags. A single cut or prick can already be dangerous.
Each medical waste management system needs to include a well-separated area, far from populated areas. Medical waste containers are also color-coded to identify different types of waste.
Make sure that staff carefully remove PPE, while still wearing gloves to avoid potential infections.
PPE made from cloth/linen, polypropylene, and polycarbonate is also compatible with autoclaves and can be reused after steam sterilization.
Transporting medical waste to an off-site plant
The final step before disposal or medical waste sterilization usually requires the services of a licensed company. They will take steps to ensure the waste is transported to an off-site plant where it will be rendered to a non-infectious state. It can also be transported to off-site incinerators.
In this case, since the waste is still infectious until the final sterilization phases, it still poses a potential risk to anybody handling it. In the long term, transportation fees can also be quite costly.
Thankfully, there are already more cost-effective methods available for on-site sterilization – such as Celitron’s ISS plant.
On-site medical waste sterilization plant with Celitron’s Integrated Sterilizer and Shredder system
Celitron has developed its own medical waste sterilization system to help clinics and hospitals handle blood contaminated medical waste disposal more easily.
The Integrated Sterilizer and Shredder is an on-site plant that uses high-pressure and high-temperature steam at 134 degrees Celsius to destroy all manners of foreign materials. Even heat-resistant bacteria cannot survive inside the closed vessel of the ISS.
This steam sterilization process is similar to the one that autoclaves (steam sterilizers) use. They are just as popular as medical waste sterilization solutions in hospitals or smaller clinics, as they enable medical staff to reuse contaminated tools and equipment. However, certain materials that cannot be reused require an extra step to be efficiently treated: rendering. This allows steam to penetrate every single part of the load, and makes sure that more hazardous materials are truly sterile after the steam sterilization process.
Medical waste like sharps need to be treated until they reach an unrecognizable state. However, compared to incineration, rendering with Celitron’s ISS is much more affordable. Not to mention that our medical waste sterilization system is much easier to install and operate, and emits zero harmful substances.
Medical waste that comes out of the ISS is greatly reduced in volume, dry, and sterile - it can be thrown away like regular municipal waste!
What kind of materials CAN be put into Celitron’s on-site medical waste sterilization system?
- Sharps, syringes, glass
- Complete sharps containers
- Dialysis waste
- Organic materials
- Medical waste contaminated with blood or blood by-products
- Lab cultures and specimens
- Discarded diagnostic samples containing blood and body fluids
What kind of materials CAN NOT be put into Celitron’s on-site medical waste sterilization plant?
- Chemical waste (e.g. disinfectants)
- Pathological waste (identifiable human body parts)
- Pharmaceuticals (unused, contaminated, or expired medicines, vaccines)
- Radioactive medical waste (including radiotherapy waste)
- Genotoxic waste (cytotoxic medicines used for the treatment of cancer)
- Oversized metallic objects, such as a pair of scissors (only small metal parts like medical sharps waste can be treated in our medical waste sterilization plant)
If you’re looking for a medical waste sterilization system that adheres to the guidelines of the WHO and the EU and can be easily installed and operated on-site, you won’t be disappointed in the versatility and reliability of Celitron’s ISS. Our Integrated Sterilizer and Shredder plants are ideal for medical equipment that cannot be reused and waste that needs to be rendered to an unrecognizable state, such as medical sharps.
You can learn more about the specifics of Celitron’s medical waste sterilization plant by CLICKING ON THIS LINK.
Should you have any questions about our products and prices, you can always CONTACT THE CELITRON TEAM!