All Points Medical Waste Blog
Infectious Waste Categories
What is Infectious Waste & How Should it be Disposed Of?
As a medical waste generator, it’s vital that you are aware of the different types of waste your facility is generating and the risks associated with improper disposal. Infectious waste is defined as any type of waste that is capable of producing an infection or an infectious disease in humans. Hospitals, physician offices, dental practices, surgery centers and others often have infectious waste onsite on a daily basis and therefore, must manage, store and dispose of it within compliance guidelines to reduce the risk of accidental exposure, fines for non-compliance and other ramifications. Here’s a list of the most common infectious waste categories:
Pathological waste falls into the infectious waste category and includes tissue or body parts removed during surgery or an autopsy. This includes body parts or tissue from animals as well.
Sharps include needles, scalpels and any other sharp item that is used to draw blood, inoculate or inject medication. Any item that is used to puncture the skin can contain infectious materials which could pose a risk to humans or animals. Other sharps, such as pipettes, lancets, suture needles and vials should be considered infectious waste as well.
Human blood or animal blood, products that contain blood, including plasma and serum fall into the infectious waste category.
Human Bodily Fluids
Human bodily fluids, including amniotic fluid, pleural fluid, pericardial fluid and others are potentially harmful if exposure occurs. In addition, any items that are soaked with bodily fluids, bed sheets, bandages and similar items should be categorized as infectious waste.
Materials and Items Contaminated with a Communicable Disease
Workers and patients can be exposed to infectious waste unknowingly if items that have been contaminated are not properly disposed of. Influenza, COVID-19 and variants, urinary tract infections and other contagious infections and viruses can be spread from person-to-person if items like PPE are not used and disposed of correctly.
When it comes to infectious waste, all medical facilities are responsible for ensuring items that can pose a risk of exposure are properly disposed of. Whether you operate a private practice, a hospital, veterinarian office, tattoo parlor or other organization, follow the guidelines and mandates of state and federal agencies to remain compliant and protect anyone who works with you or visits.
All Points Medical Waste is a family owned and operated company in Stuart, Florida. We provide medical waste services to South Florida medical facilities. Give us a call today or fill out this form to learn how we can serve you.