How is Pathological Waste Treated Differently From Other Medical Waste?
Pathological waste disposal is often a sensitive subject as it involves the removal of bodily materials from a medical facility. This includes lab cultures and blood, as well as body parts that are recognizably human. Even though these body parts are not always infectious, they are treated as such as they are transported through and then out of your medical facility.
The treatment of some pathological waste will be dependent on cultural beliefs and norms in certain instances. For example, a new mother way wish to bury the placenta of her newborn baby in accordance with her religious or cultural beliefs. Other individuals may want to bury or even cremate a limb that was lost.
What the patient is allowed varies in each case, depending on the jurisdiction and possibility of spreading infections. However, most hospitals will put personal considerations above all else and respect those wishes, unless disease transmission is a serious risk. Even when pathological medical waste is being given special considerations, its transport through and out of the facility should be carefully monitored at all times.
The Biggest Pathological Waste Risk in a Medical Setting
The most potentially dangerous pathological waste is with lab cultures and stocks, as these are the most likely carriers of infectious disease. It is highly recommended that this type of pathological waste be autoclaved as close to its source as possible, to avoid contamination.
In a facility that processes a high volume of this type of pathological waste, enacting a customized disposal system is the best option for mitigating the risk of spreading communicable disease. A medical waste disposal service provider can assist in surveying the layout of the lab and position inside of the facility to formulate a best plan for waste disposal. In some cases this could mean sterilizing the samples inside of a medical institution before they are able to leave the facility.
The Storage, Treatment and Disposal of Pathological Waste
Pathological waste needs to be double bagged inside of biohazard bags that have clearly been marked with a biohazard symbol. When transporting and storing, it must be done in a manner that minimizes the risk of fluid release. It is recommended that a tray with sides or third bag made of sturdy plastic with a zipper be used. Any item used for the transport of pathological waste must bear the biohazard symbol.
A medical waste disposal container is used for the collection of pathological waste, which should be emptied by a professional service provider. If employing plastic re-usable containers, this will be taken as well, and sterilized, before being returned to your facility. The procedures for human remains are the same, even though they will be going to a different facility after leaving yours. Have systems in place that ensure that all equipment used for the transportation through the hospital is sterilized before being returned to general patient and staff areas.
Pathological waste disposal necessitates staff training and understanding to avoid contamination in your medical facility. With the help of your medical waste disposal company, you should be able to implement systems that ensure the safe transport of pathological waste from the point of generation to their incineration facility.