All Points Medical Waste Blog

Safe Management & Disposal of Medical Waste in Blood Banks

The Importance of Proper Disposal

Blood banks across the country collect, test, store and manage blood and blood products that have been donated to aid patients who need it. In the process of collecting, testing and storing blood, there is always a risk of exposure to infectious pathogens and a certain amount of medical waste that is generated. For this reason, and because the donation and collection of blood and blood products is highly regulated by several agencies, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and OSHA, it is imperative that all blood bank facilities adhere to mandates and compliance.

Medical Waste Generated at Blood Banks

During the process of blood donation, medical waste is generated at every step. The first step includes taking a small sample of blood that is then sent to be tested for things like HIV, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B, West Nile virus, etc. They also type the blood and RH factor. In the second step, blood is drawn and put into tubes that will then be processed or centrifuged, which separates the components of the blood into red blood cells, plasma, and platelets–white blood cells are removed during this process. During each of these steps, hazardous medical waste is generated including:

  • Tubes
  • Needles
  • Catheters
  • Collection bags
  • Other sharps
  • Gloves
  • Gauze
  • Bandages

Standards for Blood Collection

While many states have their own specific regulations for local blood collection centers, OSHA has mandates that must be followed to ensure the health and safety of staff, patients and visitors including:

  • Site must have appropriate sharps collection containers
  • Staff must be trained on safe collection, storage and disposal of medical waste
  • Traffic flow must be properly managed within facility to ensure safety
  • Only patients donating blood are allowed in the area where blood is being drawn

Blood Collection Facilities must follow state and federal regulations to protect their staff and patients as well as to maintain compliance. The risks of accidental exposure to blood and blood products include spreading infectious diseases that can cause illness and potentially death. All medical waste generated must be disposed of properly and picked up and processed by a licensed, reputable medical waste disposal company.

All Points Medical Waste is a family owned and operated company located in Stuart, Florida. We provide medical waste disposal services, including OSHA training to facilities throughout South Florida from Okeechobee County all the way to Broward County. Give us a call 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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