Hospitals generate a few different types of medical waste, which are broken down into four different categories: infectious waste, hazardous waste, radioactive waste, and general waste.
The most dangerous type of hospital wastes is, believe it or not, infectious medical waste, which represents the majority of dangerous hospital waste.
For this reason, it’s naturally one of the most asked about types of medical waste. Here are a few of the most commonly asked questions people have about infection medical waste.
What Exactly Is Infectious Medical Waste?
Infectious medical waste contains potentially harmful microorganisms that can infect patients, hospital staff, and even the general public, which is why it’s so dangerous.
It’s generated by the diagnosis, treatment, and immunization of human beings or animals, which have likely been contaminated by a disease-causing organism. Examples of infectious medical waste include body parts, blood, blood products, a patient’s bedding, or even a culture of an infectious agent.
What Does Not Count as Infectious Medical Waste?
There are some things that might logically be infectious medical waste, but aren’t.
This type of medical waste does not include human remains and/or body parts that have been examined for medical purposes; human remains that have been interred legally in a cemetery or cremated; used personal hygiene products like diapers or tissues; medical dressings; hair; nails; extracted teeth; and more.
How Should Infectious Medical Waste Be Gotten Rid Of?
The treatment of medical waste is of the utmost importance to its disposal. If disposed of as is, it could spread infection, which is why health-care facilities need to hire hospital waste treatment companies to help them dispose of infectious and other types of medical waste.
Some of the most common ways infectious waste is treated include incineration, steam treatment, and autoclaving. There are also alternative disposal methods as well, such as microwaving and chemical treatment.
Infectious medical waste is dangerous, and needs to be treated as such. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments.