Waste Management In Hospitals
The medical care provided by hospitals is absolutely essential to any community. Saving lives and addressing a variety of health concerns, medical care greatly increases the quality of life in any community.
Unfortunately, there is a downside to medical care, and that is the production of medical waste. The amount of waste produced by large medical facilities every year can be considerable, and have a tremendous risk potential of causing harm to the local populace and the environment. This is why there is always a need for waste management services in any city where there is a sizeable medical facility.
Some of the most dangerous types of medical waste are discarded syringes and scalpels. Collectively known as “sharps”, they can cut or puncture people that come in contact with them. Because sharps can carry disease, they are especially dangerous when they end up where people can be exposed to them. According to World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, exposure to contaminants is responsible for over 40% of known cases of hepatitis and 12% of HIV cases all over the world.
In addition to disease-carrying waste, hospitals also produce quantities of pharmaceutical, chemical, and radioactive waste products. Although produced in much less amounts, these waste products are just as harmful as contaminated material when they have the potential to come into contact with the public.
Adding to the sharps, contaminated materials, and chemical/radioactive waste, hospitals also produce regular day-to-day garbage. Food wrappers and utensils actually make up the majority of the waste produced by large medical facilities, which can generate up to a ton of waste materials daily.
More than simply getting rid of waste materials, hospitals will need to implement an effective system for waste disposal that entails less risk on the environment and on the public. Methods such as burning the waste materials–whether in the open or in a contained facility–are simply unacceptable, due to the potential for contamination and the effects on the environment.
Other commonly implemented methods for dealing with medical waste are just as unacceptable. If the waste is not dealt with onsite, it will likely end up in a landfill. This can have long-term negative consequences on the environment, which is an especially common problem in developing countries.
All hospitals and medical care facilities can benefit considerably from the services provided by medical waste management firms. Professional medical waste specialists can effectively deal with even high volume waste production, processing materials on site and transporting them to a specialized facility for treatment. These services can reduce the harm caused by hazardous medical waste and prevent them from adversely affecting the environment.
Medical care is an essential service for any community, but the waste materials produced is often a significant problem with no easy solution. The risks associated with such materials can be considerable, especially with larger medical care facilities. By hiring a dedicated medical waste management firm, a hospital can continue to provide quality medical care to the community, without the harmful effects on the environment and the health risk to the public.