Disposal of healthcare waste
Healthcare waste, also known as medical waste, forms a vital part of the operational processes of health facilities, such as hospitals, clinics and medical research centres. This includes all medical tools, materials, and supplies that have been used in caring for patients and diagnosing diseases. It is important to understand the seriousness of this waste and the necessity of treating it properly to ensure the safety of the environment and society.
Hazard of healthcare waste:
Healthcare waste has unique characteristics that make it hazardous materials when handled inappropriately. These wastes pose a threat to humans and the environment due to the following reasons:
- Pathogenic content and high rate of microbes: Healthcare waste contains large amounts of germs, bacteria and viruses as a result of direct contact with patients. This makes them a potential source of disease transmission if not disposed of properly.
- Hazardous Chemicals: Healthcare waste includes hazardous chemicals such as unused medications and leftover therapeutic chemicals. These materials, if handled incorrectly, may pollute water and soil and negatively affect the environment.
- Sharp Instruments: Medical waste also includes sharp objects such as needles and scalpels that may cause serious injury if handled unsafely.
- Radioactive waste: In some cases, healthcare waste contains radioactive materials, and this increases the complexity of its safe treatment and disposal.
Hence, it is clear that treating healthcare waste is of great importance to prevent disease transmission and preserve the environment. This process includes many precautionary measures, safe storage and effective treatment of waste to ensure that it is done in a way that meets environmental and health standards.
The medical waste treatment process starts from the waste source, such as hospitals, and includes the following steps:
- Waste sorting:
Medical waste must be separated from regular waste by placing sharp tools and parts in special containers known as Yellow Disposal Medical Waste Safety Box.
- Waste packing:
Medical waste is placed in special plastic bags bearing labels indicating the content inside.
- Waste storage:
The bags are stored in closed containers inside a refrigerated place, and transported to the processing station using special vehicles equipped with cooling systems (cooling units).
In advanced treatment plants such as Bondtech autocalve equipment, medical waste is treated by exposing it to hot, pressurized steam.
Steam is generated by a boiler that produces steam at a temperature of up to 150 C and a pressure of up to 2.5 bar.
The waste is placed in special metal containers and then entered into the autoclave. The waste is exposed to steam for a period usually ranging from 25 to 35 minutes.
During this process, pressure and temperature are constantly recorded using monitoring devices such as a graph.
After the treatment process is completed, the treated waste is taken out in a healthy and safe manner for disposal in appropriate ways.
All containers and equipment that come into contact with medical waste are carefully washed using water and hypochlorite solution to ensure cleanliness and safety.