An Effective Way to Manage the Medical Waste

Happy Khatun

Any kind of waste that contains infectious material it’s medical waste. Generation of waste is indispensable concerning health-care facilities (HCFs). Medical wastes come from primary health-care centers, dispensaries, blood bank, pharmaceutical, chemical, medical and biomedical laboratories etc.

The types of medical waste generation and its source of wastes in health-care establishments (HCE). Hazardous waste is anything that can affect humans in non-infectious. This waste needs to be treated seriously. The hazardous waste includes pathological, infectious, sharps and chemicals waste that are normally produced in labour wards, operation theatres, laboratories.

Some definitions of hazardous wastes are-Pathological wastes consist mainly of tissues, organs, blood, placentas, etc. Infectious wastes can include human/animal tissues, blood-soaked bandages, surgical gloves, cultures, stocks. Sharps include needles syringes, blades, broken glass, and any other items that could cause a cut or puncture.

Chemical waste encircles expired medicine, discarded chemicals. Chemical waste is potentially adventurous and at present a high risk of infection. Non-chemical office paper, wrapping paper, and plastics but are not attached to the patient’s body fluid.  Laboratory waste is of the high-risk category. Radioactive waste such as iodine-125, iodine-131, etc. is also laboratory wastes.

General (non-hazardous health-care waste)-85%, Infectious (hazardous health-care waste)-10%, and Chemical/radioactive (hazardous health-care waste)-5%.

The characteristics of medical waste from hospitals are almost similar in all countries. Legislation on the safe disposal of medical wastes may very far from one country to another. Medical waste is very serious and needs to be disposed of properly.

In medical wastes, 75% of waste are non-infectious and about 25% of waste are infectious wastes, which produced per day.

Percentage of Infectious Agents:

Blood Urine bags-10%, Vial ampoule-18%, Placenta-29%, Sharp Instruments-34%, Body Fluids-9%, Percentage of Non-infectious Agents:, Kitchen-71%, Cotton bandage-16%, Saline bags-8%, and Others-5%.

Medical wastes produced a huge amount of waste per day. Day by day medical wastes increasing. Many other sources of medical waste produced per day. Total wastes generated from Dhaka city 3000-4000 kg/day.

Different types of health-care facilities (HCFs) can be viewed as major or minor sources of health-care waste, according to the quantities produced. Such as hospitals, other health-care facilities, related laboratories and research centres, mortuary and autopsy centres, animal research testing, blood collection services, nursing homes for the elderly.

Minor and scattered sources produce some health-care waste, but their quantities and composition will vary. They rarely produce radioactive and cytostatic waste, human body parts are not normally produced, sharps consists mainly of hypodermic needles, first-aid posts and sick bays, physician’s office dental clinics, convalescent nursing homes, cosmetic ear-piercing and tattoo parlous, illicit drug users and needle exchanges, ambulance services, home treatment etc.

Medical waste produced from regular activities of the nurses, patients, doctors, cleaners, sweepers, administrators. Those were rejected or useless. In medical waste, the average waste production rare is 0.980 kg/day/bed, Where the infectious waste production rate is 0.100 kg/day/bed. Clinical or hospital waste was established to 0.79 kg ton/day. The generation rate in the public hospitals, private clinics, and diagnostic centre was 0.51, 0.55, and 0.36 kg patients-1, day-1. Segregation, packaging, labelling and marketing involves separating the medical waste into categories. The packaging is done by colour coding bags. Those are yellow bags, red bags, blue bags, black carboy bags.

Yellow plastic bags are used for infectious waste, bandages gauzes, cotton or any other things. This waste was disposed of utilizing incineration or deep burial in a landfill. Red plastic bags and containers are treated by autoclave or microwave. Hazardous waste packaged in either blue or white transparent is usually treated by microwave or autoclave chemical treatment, shredding or by landfilling. Labelling and marketing, medical wastes are also known to be bio-hazard. Labelling and marketing process adopted worldwide.

Medical waste collection and transportation is one kind of waste management process. We can collect medical waste in two way. Transportation is a potential source of germs. In-side transportation system and Off-side transportation system. Waste must be collected regularly-at least once a day. A daily collection programs and collection round must be plan-need. Every type of waste must be collected and stored separately with different known signs on the containers. Off-side transportation demands more fuel consumption due to passing a long distance to reach the disposal station. Almost all of the wastes transported by open vehicles.

Incineration is a process of destructing waste by burning its medical waste. Controlled incineration at high temperatures (over 1000ºC) is one of the few technologies. At first, the medical waste dumping the open field then the waste destructed by the incineration process. In incineration of medical waste have the good and bad, are both sides in the environment. This process removes hazardous materials.

The most popular medical waste disposal options in Bangladesh are open dumping and landfilling and without adopting any advance technologies and precautions for protecting the environment from being contaminated. The treatment and disposal system is responsible for GHGs emissions as well as toxic chemicals into the environment.

We can combustion 60% of waste in this incineration process. The bad effect of these incineration processes are highly coasts, smoke generation, and pollution risks. Incinerators exist in different categories, each type has a specific function. Drug terminator used for disposal of pharmaceuticals, its mobile incinerator. Mediburn treats pathological and infectious waste in small medical facilities and laboratories. Incineration has the advantage of significantly reducing the volume and weight of the waste treated.

Uncontrolled and illegal trade (recycling) of medical waste is a big problem because it carries germs which later can harm consumers and contaminate the environment. Infectious wastes must never be stored in places that are open to the public. Anyhow, for increasing collection efficiency and safe handling of health-care waste training is very important.

We were always aware of the local people to store medical waste and store them in a specified space. The authorities responsible them to disposal and treated this. The authorities can responsibility for this medical waste disposal and treatment in proper ways. Medical waste management is very much effective in our whole country, which’s are good for nature.

Medical waste management is very much important for the natural environment and the human body. In medical waste treatment always choose the very much effective way to manage the wastes. Proper management practices of health-care waste or medical waste can minimize the medical waste production rate in our country and can save our natural environment. Inappropriate medical waste (MW) management practices have become one of the major concerns in developing countries.

Author is a Student of  Environmental Science and Engineering Department at Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University, Trishal, Mymensingh—2224, Bangladesh


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