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Biohazard waste: Test your knowledge

Top facts healthcare providers need to know

Tons of bio hazardous waste is disposed of each year from healthcare facilities, treatment centers, surgical centers and other similar organizations. Although state and federal regulations require healthcare professionals to follow mandates when it comes to disposal, continuous training is necessary to ensure that accidents are minimized and medical waste is destroyed properly. Here are the top facts about bio hazardous waste that you need to know:

Sticks from sharps are more common than you think

To many healthcare workers who work with needles and other items related to sharps on a daily basis, waste disposal is routine—and done without much thought. It’s because of this that people can become complacent, which in turn causes accidents to happen. All workers who deal with sharps must never skip a step, including capping used needles, making sure all sharps are immediately placed in the approved waste container after use and wearing gloves every single time. Needle pricks can be extremely dangerous if the needle has even traces of infectious substances, blood or other bodily fluids.

Airborne pathogens can be dangerous

Liquid and solid pathogens are often the focus when people consider bio hazardous waste. This makes sense since these are contaminants that are visible and can be absorbed into the skin. But within bio hazardous waste there are those pathogens that are not visible to the naked eye—and these airborne elements can also pose a risk that is often not considered. In order to minimize accidental exposure, healthcare workers must be sure to dispose of all waste correctly, ensuring that airborne pathogens do not leak into the air supply.

Discarded vaccines can pose a risk

Because most vaccines are made with the active disease they are created to prevent, discarding of them improperly can be dangerous. Each time a vaccination is performed, healthcare workers must dispose of the needle and the vial containing the vaccine according to regulations. Because although the vaccine is safe when injected into the body, it can cause exposure to the disease if a person comes in contact with it.

When it comes to handling and disposing of bio hazardous waste, the key is to provide your staff with continuous training and refreshers. This will protect them and all who walk through the doors of your practice.

For more information on other medical waste topics, please visit our blog. All Points Medical Waste is a full service medical waste disposal company serving South Florida including the Treasure Coast and Palm Beach and Broward Counties. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can serve you.

Dawn Connelly

Dawn Connelly

Dawn is the vice president of All Points Medical Waste. All Points Medical Waste is a family-owned and operated medical waste disposal and compliance company that has been serving the Treasure Coast, Palm Beaches, and surrounding areas since 1994.
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