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Medical Waste Disposal and Management Solutions

Medical Waste Disposal and Management Solutions

Medical Waste Disposal and Management Solutions

Keeping your practice hygienic requires more than just sanitizing surfaces and utilizing proper personal protective equipment, it includes proper medical waste disposal and management. Used health care products can carry potentially infectious material, which increase health hazards to your facility. Implementing a trusted medical waste disposal solution can help eliminate a surplus of germs and ensure you're following safety regulations.

At Henry Schein Medical, we understand the importance of properly disposing of medical waste and how costly this undertaking can be. Our products, such as sharps containers and biohazard bags, aim to ensure you're following medical waste disposal regulations while helping to keep your patients and staff safe.

Discover our Medical Waste Disposal Products, Biohazard Bags, Sharps Containers, and solutions:

HealthFirst Environmental

HealthFirst Environmental, partnered with Trilogy MedWaste offers a full range of medical waste and sharps management solutions.

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HealthFirst Environmental - Medical Waste Disposal

MedPro Disposal

MedPro Disposal works with your facility to identify the exact services you require, evaluating your waste stream and desired pickup frequency based on site storage capacities.

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MedPro Disposal - Medical Waste Disposal

Sharps Containers and Biohazard Bags

Keep your facilities waste-free with our durable biohazard bags and sharps containers. They are designed for convenient disposal.

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Sharps Containers and biohazard bags

What is Medical Waste?

The United States Environmental Protection Agency1 defines and identifies medical waste as the subset of wastes found in, and generated by, a healthcare setting. These materials may be contaminated by potentially infectious materials including blood and bodily fluids.

Federal agencies including the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), all provide some level of medical waste regulation as do many states' health and environmental protection agencies. It is important to monitor your individual state and territory regulations to ensure full compliance with medical waste handling and disposal. Improperly discarded medical waste may result in a serious public health risk.

Common Types of Medical Waste

  • While non-hazardous or general waste is categorized by the inability of its makeup to pose physical, radioactive, chemical, or biological harm, medical settings do often generate a significant amount of waste products which do require special handling and attention.
  • Chemical Waste: Heavy metals like mercury, disinfectants, solvents, cleaners, batteries and reagents are all examples of chemical waste.
  • Cytotoxic Waste/ Chemotherapy Waste Toxic, mutagenic, teratogenic, or carcinogenic substances including cytotoxic drugs used in cancer treatment are commonly included in this category.
  • Infectious Waste: Discarded diagnostic samples, bandages, wraps, swabs, gloves, autopsy waste, gowns, masks, suction catheters, sponges, lab cultures, etc. are all examples of infectious waste due to their contact, or potential contact, with blood and other bodily fluids.
  • Pathological Waste: Bodily fluids removed during surgery or autopsy, surgical specimens, human tissues, organs, fluids, and infected laboratory animals are all examples of pathological waste. Unlike some other medical waste items, pathological waste may require additional disposal processes including double bagging, special storage, and incineration.
  • Pharma Waste: Unused, contaminated, or expired medications, including vaccines, fall into this waste category. Active ingredients in pharmaceuticals can pose a direct environmental threat when disposed of incorrectly. Additionally, improper disposal of unused medications may contribute to misuse.
  • Radioactive Waste: Not unlike infectious waste, trace radioactive waste can be found on common medical disposables including gloves, cotton swabs, clothing and other absorbent materials. Syringes and needles are sometimes added to this category as well. Any products contaminated by radionuclides including radiotherapeutic materials or radioactive diagnostic materials are considered radioactive. Procedures related to nuclear medicine, radiation oncology, and PET scans provide a significant portion of this waste category.
  • Sharps Waste: A "sharp" is any device with points or edges sharp enough to puncture or cut the skin. Needles, scalpels, blades, and syringes are key contributors to this category of waste. Sharps are found in a variety of medical settings and are often used in vaccinations and infertility treatments, as well as to administer medications for the treatment and maintenance of allergies, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, infertility, migraine, hepatitis, and various blood disorders.

Medical Waste Best Practices

Regulatory procedures for hazardous waste vary by state, territory, and governmental agency. Ensuring your staff can identify the various types of waste and understand the many risks associated with health care waste, are critical first steps to ensuring compliance.

Common Best Practices Include:

  1. Strict adherence to the guidelines as outlined by your facility as well as state and governmental regulation agencies
  2. Immediate segregation of waste by hazard type
  3. Labeling and color-coding waste by hazard type
  4. Strict adherence to storage and transportation processes and schedules