University of Tehran

Assessment of medical waste management in educational hospitals of Tehran University

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Medical waste includes materials that are produced in the course of health protection, medical treatment and scientific research; it forms a separate category of medical or health care waste (Republic of Croatia, 1996b and 2004; Capak, 2001; Ropeik and Gray, 2002). However, it seems that the fraction of waste generated at medical institutions, known as special or regulated medical waste (Lee et al., 2004) or otherwise known as clinical waste (WHO, 1994), has not attracted the same level of attention as other types of wastes, particularly in developing countries, despite the fact that medical waste is labeled as hazardous because it poses serious and direct threat to human health (Coad, 1992; WHO, 1999).

In Iran, as in many other developing countries, no proper and efficient rule has been compiled as yet and also there is no useful information about medical waste management. In this article the results of a survey on medical wastes in hospitals supported by Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS) in 2007 are presented of generated amount hospital wastes, the condition of waste segregation, the type of storage containers, the temporary storage area, collection procedures, on-site transport and treatment of wastes, off-site transport and disposal of hospital wastes were studied and finally the type of training provided to hospital personnel, and the type of sewerage system used at hospitals were assessed. At the end, measures for improvement of present conditions and solving the identified problems were suggested.

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