All Points Medical Waste Blog

Pathological Waste: What Is It & How Should It Be Disposed Of?

What You Need to Know to Ensure Safety & Compliance

Scientist viewing specimen on a slideMedical facilities, physician’s offices, dentists, hospitals, practices and other organizations produce a variety of medical waste. All of it must be stored and disposed of in very specific ways to avoid cross contamination, accidental exposure and risk of spreading illnesses or injuries. Pathological waste is one category of medical waste that has exact handling, storage and disposal requirements.

What Is Pathological Waste?

Pathological waste is different from other types of medical waste in that it is not typically an item or material used in a medical procedure like needles, tubing, sharps, etc. Pathological waste includes any waste that consists of human or animal body parts. Some examples of this include:

  • Organs
  • Tissues
  • Surgical specimens
  • Bodily fluids removed during surgeries and autopsies

This type of waste is often generated from hospitals, surgery centers, veterinarians, cosmetic surgery centers and others.

Safe Disposal of Pathological Waste

Pathological waste can often require different handling and disposal than other types of waste that your facility generates. It should be separated from the rest of your red bag regulated waste and you must be aware of the fact that this category of medical waste has certain qualities that require special handling, storage and disposal. Key factors to consider include:

  • If it has been in contact with chemotherapy drugs or other drugs that fall under the regulated waste category, it can be hazardous and it is possible that certain anatomical waste is infectious.
  • Organs and other body parts can contain or be filled with bodily fluids and therefore must be stored to ensure no leakage can occur during handling and disposal. Double bagging, using approved plastic storage containers and certain absorbents may be required.
  • It’s imperative to ensure that all pathological waste is labeled correctly to prevent accidental exposure.

Pathological waste must be disposed of following state and federal guidelines. Working with a medical waste company is the best way to ensure proper and safe disposal within compliance guidelines. As with any other type of medical waste, always check your local and state mandates for handling, storage and disposal to protect your facility, patients, staff and the community.

All Points Medical Waste provides full service medical waste disposal, including pathological waste. We are a family owned and operated company located in Stuart, Florida serving South Florida medical facilities including hospitals, treatment centers, physician offices, dentists, veterinarians and more. Give us a call today or fill out this form to learn more.

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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