THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF MEDICAL WASTE - ALTHOUGH THERE ARE MANY DIFFERENT KINDS OF MEDICAL WASTE, THEY CAN LARGELY BE CATEGORISED INTO FOUR MAIN TYPES.
When you work in any medical facility – be that a hospital, clinic, doctor’s surgery, laboratory or dental practice – you’ll know that waste cannot just be thrown away. There are strict requirements on the separation and safe disposal of different types of medical waste.
Each type of waste must be handled and disposed of in different ways, in order to minimise the risk of any infections or disease. Cross-contamination is a big challenge, and the protection of patients and employees is essential.
There are four main types of medical waste:
General medical waste
This is the bulk of waste generated by anyone in the medical industry and is typically very general. It won’t be hazardous, and can be made up of everything from papers and plastic to standard office waste.
Infectious medical waste
Infectious medical waste is any kind of waste that could cause any humans handling it to be at risk of infection. It can also be dangerous to animals and the environment. Examples of infectious waste include any items with bodily fluids on - like bloody bandages, swabs, cultures, human body parts, and tools used to interact with patients – like sharps waste and surgical waste.
Hazardous medical waste
Although hazardous waste can be dangerous, it’s not considered to be infectious for humans. Any sharps waste – like needles and scalpels – that haven’t been used would fall under this type. Hazardous medical waste also includes chemotherapy drugs and other types of chemicals.
Radioactive medical waste
As you might expect, radioactive waste is any waste that contains radioactive material, however small that might be. Medical waste that is radioactive includes material used for examinations like thallium stress tests and for certain cancer therapies. Some medicine uses radiation to diagnose problems with patients’ organs too.
If you’re faced with the challenge of medical waste – and need a safe and effective way to dispose of your different waste streams, we can help.
At INCINER8, we have an extensive range of medical incinerators that can meet all of your requirements. Get in touch with us today to learn more.