Laredo, Texas Medical Waste Disposal

July 23, 2018 - Texas Medical Waste

Texas-Specific Regulations for Proper Disposal of Medical Waste

Since it became one of the official United States in the mid-1800s, people have been flocking to the great state of Texas. In fact, back in the 19th-century, the letters “G.T.T” became common shorthand for “Gone to Texas.” This was the quick way people let their families know they had head west for greener pastures. At one point, so many people were heading for Texas to escape the law, that “G.T.T.” came to mean “on the lam.”

Thanks to so many people flocking to the Lone Star state, Texas has the second largest population in America, with California having the largest. Big populations tend to create more waste, and when that waste is medical waste, it is vitally important that it be disposed of properly.

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Laredo, a Live-able History Lesson

In Laredo, history is not something that lives in the past, it is something that is celebrated and lived now by residents and visitors alike. Founded in 1775 by a Spanish captain, Laredo quickly became one of the most prominent cities along the Rio Grande River.

If you want to feel like you’re stepping back in time, simply walk the streets of downtown Laredo, where the architecture and museums tell the fascinating tales of this wonderful city. The Republic of the Rio Grande Museum and the Villa de San Agustin Historic District are just a couple of places where residents and visitors can learn more about the city’s rich history.
But while Laredo’s history has a lot to offer, so do the modern amenities and activities. For starters, like Corpus Christi, Laredo is one of the absolute top birding destinations in the country. Each year thousands of visitors flock to the city to catch a glimpse of more than 240 species of native and migratory birds.

Laredo also boasts a thriving art scene with galleries full of paintings and pottery. Two theater companies and a professional orchestra offer residents a chance to take in a thrilling live performance.

The city also offers numerous dining and shopping options, and year-round outdoor activities like biking, hiking and golfing. It’s no wonder residents love living in Laredo.
In order to keep the quality of life so high, everyone must do their part to ensure the city’s medical and biohazard waste is disposed of properly.

What Exactly is Medical and Biohazard Waste?

While biohazard waste contains potentially-infectious materials or agents, medical waste are items like gloves, bandages, syringes and needles, items that have become saturated with bodily fluids during the medical treatment of people or animals.

Since both medical and biohazard waste poses such risks, it is imperative that it be handled and disposed of properly. Should it be discarded in the regular trash, it would end up in a landfill where they could cause harm to the environment as well as people and wildlife that came in contact with it.

Because of these very real dangers, the federal and state governments have created regulations to ensure medical waste is disposed of properly. Those healthcare facilities and businesses caught improperly disposing of these waste materials are fined, and sometimes substantially.

To ensure they are safe and compliant at all times, these facilities often choose to work with an authorized medical waste disposal service who can handle everything on their behalf.
MedPro Waste Disposal offers its medical and biohazard waste disposal services in Laredo and the surrounding area. Our network of over 80 regional affiliate haulers ensures that we will have no problem reaching your facility.

Services We Offer:

  • Medical & Biohazard Waste Disposal
  • Sharps (Needle/Syringes) Disposal
  • Safety Compliance Training
  • Secure Document Shredding
  • Sharps & Pharmaceutical Mailback

If you are interested in learning more about saving on your medical waste disposal in Laredo, Texas, check us out here.
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Biohazard Waste Examples

July 23, 2018 - Medical Waste Disposal

What is Biohazard Waste?

Some States define Biohazard waste specifically. Below are a few examples from California and Iowa for examples only. As always call MedPro or check with your health department on your specific states requirements.

California’s definition of “Biohazardous waste” includes all of the following:

Regulated medical waste, clinical waste, or biomedical waste that is a waste or reusable material derived from the medical treatment of a human or from an animal that is suspected by the attending veterinarian of being infected with a pathogen that is also infectious to humans, which includes diagnosis and immunization; or from biomedical research, which includes the production and testing of biological products.

Regulated medical waste or clinical waste or biomedical waste suspected of containing a highly communicable disease.

Laboratory waste such as human specimen cultures or animal specimen cultures that are infected with pathogens that are also infectious to humans; cultures and stocks of infectious agents from research; wastes from the production of bacteria, viruses, spores, discarded live and attenuated vaccines used in human health care or research, discarded animal vaccines, including Brucellosis and Contagious Ecthyma, as defined by the department; culture dishes, devices used to transfer, inoculate, and mix cultures; and wastes.

Waste that, at the point of transport from the generator’s site or at the point of disposal contains recognizable fluid human blood, fluid human blood products, containers, or equipment containing human blood that is fluid, or blood from animals suspected by the attending veterinarian of being contaminated with infectious agents known to be contagious to humans.

Waste containing discarded materials contaminated with excretion, exudate, or secretions from humans or animals that are required to be isolated by the infection control staff, the attending physician and surgeon, the attending veterinarian, or the local health officer, to protect others from highly communicable diseases or diseases of animals that are communicable to humans.

Iowa State University defines biohazardous waste as “All biologically contaminated waste that could potentially cause harm to humans, domestic or wild animals or plants. Examples include human and animal blood, tissues, and certain body fluids, recombinant DNA, and human, animal or plant pathogens.” In more layman terms, biohazardous waste is any waste contaminated with potentially infectious materials. Disposing of this waste isn’t like throwing garbage away – you have to put the waste in dedicated biohazard disposal bags, often called Red Bags, and then the bags are put into bio waste containers for safe collection and transportation.
(http://www.ehs.iastate.edu/publications/factsheets/sharps.pdf)

What Are Some Examples of Biohazard Waste?
  1. Anything that is soaked in blood (gloves, gauze, gowns etc.)

  2. Human or animal tissues created during procedures

  3. Cultures of infectious diseases/agents

  4. Any waste produced in patient’s rooms with communicable diseases

  5. Discarded vaccines

 

Why Do You Have to Put These Things in Special Containers?

Because of the potential diseases biohazardous waste contains it must be sterilized before finally being disposed of. In one of our other infographic resource (https://www.medprodisposal.com/happens-medical-waste-picked/) We created an infographic in which we went over what happens after medical waste is picked up. The summary is it’s transported to a sanitation facility, put through an autoclave and then taken to a sanitary landfill where they process and safely discard it.

How Can I Have My Medical Waste Picked Up?

MedPro offers a low cost biohazard waste disposal solution that focuses specifically on worker and environmental safety, compliance, and customer satisfaction. If you would like to learn more visit us on the web at https://www.medprodisposal.com or give us a call at 888-641-6131.

 

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How Long Does It Take For Personal Info To Hit the Dark Net?

June 14, 2018 - Medical Waste Disposal

A cybersecurity company sets a trap to see what happens to personal and proprietary information once it hits the dark net. The results should be a red flag and frighten everyone.  

While many may have heard about the ‘dark net’, only those that are embedded as part of cybercrime or the ones that are fighting it, are familiar with this segment of the internet. For the rest of us, it is a topic wrapped in mystery and a place that we dare not go. But this is the location where all of the stolen personal identity data can be found and one cyber security company set out to find out exactly how fast the information is exchanged.

Bitglass, a security company made the decision to ‘bait’ cybercriminals and then follow the bread crumbs. They created fake spreadsheets containing false data: social security numbers, names, credit card numbers, phone numbers and addresses. They ‘watermarked’ the spreadsheets so that when they were either opened or downloaded it would secretly transmit the IP address, country of origin and device type back to them.

The experiment was designed to last twelve days and they then placed the spreadsheets in locations on the dark net known to buy and sell personal information as well as other sites that were famous for the black market dealings: DropBox, Paste-slampeech and Onion-pastebin. The spreadsheet information did not contain any ‘ownership’ identity, nor was there any charge or fee to download/open. For experienced cybercriminals, this may have been a red flag as a setup, but it didn’t stop the rest.

In the twelve days, the company monitored the transmissions as they watched it travel to over twenty two different countries and was viewed almost 1,100 times. The information was spread over five continents, and most of those were in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. There were forty seven different parties involved in downloads, with most of those in Nigeria, Brazil and Russia, with the highest percentage in Nigeria and Russia.

CEO of Bitglass, Nat Kausik, stated: “Our goal was to see how liquid the market is for breached data. We were curious to see what happens to it after a breach.” Kausik also made note that there was a significant percentage of participation from overseas university networks. These are locations that are known to have the availability of open WiFi.

For the perpetrators, anyone that may have tried to use the fake credit card or identity information would have immediately seen a failure and realized that they had been duped. Bitglass couldn’t follow any activity beyond just the files themselves, but the experiment did demonstrate both the speed and access of private data.

Whether you have left your network unprotected, experienced a breach or didn’t place priority on shredding important proprietary documents, criminals are willing to do just about anything to gain this information and there is a market on the dark net to make profit.

Protecting your data is now considered part of doing business.

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Medical Waste Managment For Funeral Homes

June 4, 2018 - Medical Waste Disposal

According to the National Funeral Directors Association (article cited below) the best practices for funeral directors to keep the health and safety of the communities they live and work in are outlined below. If you have any questions contact MedPro Waste Disposal today 888-641-6131 or call your local health department.

“Funeral directors are trained to protect the health and safety of the public, the environment in the community in which they live and work, and their families and themselves. Best practices, like these recommended by NFDA, are designed to help our funeral directors meet the high standards of the funeral profession.

Be familiar with and follow each federal, state and local environmental requirement that applies when embalming is performed.

Periodically re-evaluate the products used in the preparation of the remains and throughout the funeral home. Review and be familiar with the Material Safety Data Sheets for the products used and make every effort to limit the toxicity of chemicals used and the amount of waste produced. Use only the amount of chemicals needed to assure proper embalming. Substitute environmentally friendly products as they become available. When possible, avoid the use of products containing phenol and cresol.

Assure that any system used for the disposal of embalming and sanitary fluids is properly sized, correctly operated and regularly maintained. Be aware of and immediately investigate and correct any problems discovered, using the services of trained licensed professionals for assistance. If the funeral home has expanded, assure that the capacity of the waste disposal system meets current needs. Make sure that the tank is periodically pumped, no less often than every three years.

Know the constituents of and the required method of disposal of any and all waste materials and fluids that the funeral home produces. Different requirements govern the handling and disposal of Hazardous Waste, Medical Waste, and other wastes produced in the course of funeral home operation. Be certain that any disposal firms with which you deal are licensed and reputable. Know where the wastes the funeral homes produces are taken for disposal and the compliance status of the disposal facility. Maintain copies of all waste disposal receipts. Each funeral director bears personal responsibility for the proper disposal of the wastes generated, as required by federal, state, and local law.

Cosmetics, adhesives, tissue builders, cleaning agents and other products that contain solvents or chlorinated compounds, such as trichloroethylene (“TCE”) and perchloroethylene (“Perc”), should only be used topically—if used at all. These compounds, including gauze or cotton containing such compounds and product residues in empty containers, should never be poured into a drain or sink, added to an embalming tank, tossed into a dumpster, commingled with other wastes, or discharged to the ground. Such wastes may be Hazardous Wastes requiring special handling.”

 

Guide To Managing Medical Waste Disposal

A Brief History of the Medical Waste Industry

Regulations covering medical waste disposal were formed in the 1980s in response to an alarming trend of infectious healthcare waste material from ending up in the regular solid waste stream.

Learn More: Medical Waste Tracking Act of 1988

With a federal mandate from the EPA now in place, everyone from hospitals to a single physician practice would have to adhere to strict laws about how to properly package and dispose of medical waste, which gave birth to the medical waste transportation and disposal industry.

 

Defining Medical Waste

Contaminated Gloves, Gauze, and Bandages:

What is it – Any time you use gloves with a client or patient, you need to take them off and dispose of them as soon as you leave the patient, even if you plan to return shortly. Used gauze or gauze that rests on anything that has not been sanitized must be disposed of. Bandages put out to be used with a patient and bandages that are taken off of a patient must be properly thrown away due to the potential for contamination.

How do you dispose of them – You can dispose of these items by placing them in a closable red Biohazard bag. Hospital-acquired infections are easily picked up in a hospital, nursing home or even in the office of a school nurse when gloves, gauze, and bandages are not properly disposed of.

Did you know – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported there were at least 1.7 million hospital-acquired infections in 2011 from pathogens that either caused or were the contributing factor in 99,000 deaths.

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Sharps:

What is it – Sharps are items that can cause cuts or puncture wounds such as needles, scalpels, glass ampoules, razor blades, sharp-pointed pieces of bones and teeth, stitch cutters, and other disposable sharp instruments.

How do you dispose of them – Loose sharps need to be enclosed in puncture-proof containers out of the way of patients. If placed in sturdy, puncture-proof, small enclosed Sharps containers, sharps may be disposed of in red Biohazard bags.

Did you know – According to the US Department of Labor’s Occupational and Safety Health Administration, injuries from blood borne pathogens on mishandled sharps pose a significant hazard for medical personnel. The FDA warns that loose sharps should never be thrown away in household or public trash containers, toilets or recycling bins.

 

Bodily Fluid & Blood Saturated Items:

What is it – Any material that is saturated with blood, saliva, semen and vaginal fluid, can contain viruses that may be passed to other people. Always error on the side of safety and assume that bodily fluid or blood soaked items are infectious. Clean up of bodily fluid and blood involves a mask, gloves, cleaning materials and bleach.

How do you dispose of them – All saturated items and everything used for cleanup must be disposed of in a red Biohazard container or bag.

Did you know – On carpeted areas which are highly absorbent, it’s important to respond quickly and select a cleaning product with some anti-microbial properties to help sanitize the area as thoroughly as possible. It’s also advisable to do a steam clean to remove debris, and sanitize carpeting more completely than conventional washing.

Chemotherapy Waste:

What is it – Chemotherapy is subject to a lot of waste, including expired drugs, dosages not used, contaminated masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment, partial containers of chemotherapy solution, and spillage cleanup materials. Chemotherapy is highly toxic and may cause irreversible damage if not managed and disposed of properly.

How do you dispose of them – Trace chemotherapy waste that does not appear to be contaminated (ex: tubing, needles, containers, gloves and gowns), or empty chemotherapy containers that did not hold P-listed chemotherapy agents, should be disposed of in Biohazard bags.

Bulk chemotherapy waste such as containers that contained P-listed chemo drugs, any non-empty containers of chemotherapy, or materials used to clean up a chemotherapy spill fall under RCRA hazardous waste regulations and must be disposed of as hazardous waste.

Did you know – In order for a container that has held a P-listed hazardous waste to be classified as “RCRA empty” and not regulated as hazardous waste, all the contents must be removed and it must be triple rinsed.

Medication:

What is it – Medications that are unused or are out of date present a unique disposal situation. They are not to be disposed of in a Biohazard bag.

How do you dispose of them – According to the FDA, almost all household medicines can be thrown in the household trash, but there are certain medications that are recommended to be disposed of immediately. This method is used by healthcare workers in hospice situations, but hospitals and pharmacies have special containers for these medications. They either contract with a medical waste company or participate in a mail-back program.

Did you know – To keep potentially dangerous medicines away from children or pets, the FDA recommends that unused medications be quickly turned over to a medicine take-back program or transferred to a collector who is authorized by the DEA.

Packaging the Waste

small biohazard boxes and bins

A physicians’ practice can generally expect a medical waste disposal company to provide containers like the ones above for medical waste storage and transportation. However, sharps must be placed in a closable, puncture-resistant, leak-proof container labeled as “biohazard.” Sharps containers (pictured right) will not typically be provided by your medical waste disposal company.

small sharps container

Other Types of Waste

Certain wastes are not considered medical waste and would not be accepted by a medical waste disposal company.

  • Chemicals
  • Hazardous Waste
  • Radioactive Waste
  • Bulk Chemotherapy Waste
  • Compressed Gas Cylinders
  • Inhalers and Aerosol Cans
  • Glass Thermometers (or other devices containing mercury)

biohazard tubes

medical waste hauler

service area map

Expired or Unused Pharmaceutical Disposal

In October 2014 the DEA put the Disposal Act into effect which changes how long health care facilities have to store and dispose of pharmaceutical waste.

rx disposal

The three main changes are:

  1. The DEA relaxed the two-employee integrity requirement for inner liner installation, removal, storage, and transfer at LTCFs. Collectors will retain the option to authorize two of their own employees to install, remove, store, and transfer inner liners; however, the DEA is permitting collectors the option to designate a supervisor-level employee of the LTCF (e.g., a charge nurse, supervisor, or similar employee) to install, remove, store, or transfer inner liners with only one employee of the collector.
  2. After careful and thorough consideration of comments received regarding the burdens associated with the proposed 14-day destruction requirement, the DEA is extending the time those registrants that reverse distribute have to destroy controlled substances to 30 days.
  3. The DEA is also permitting registered hospitals/clinics with an on-site pharmacy to become authorized collectors to maintain collection receptacles inside their registered locations or at LTCFs, and to conduct mail-back programs.

All of these changes allow health care facilities to save time and money when disposing of medication.

Are you OSHA Compliant?

All employees who may come into contact with medical waste must be trained and certified on:

  • OSHA Blood borne Pathogen Training
  • Formaldehyde Exposure
  • Infection Control
  • Emergency Action Plans
  • Hazard Communication Program:
    • Safety Data Sheets
    • Global Harmonization Standard Update

In addition, one of OSHA’s basic requirements is that every employer displays the Job Safety and Health Protection workplace poster (OSHA 2203 or state equivalent).

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Importance of Proper Sharps Disposal in the Home

June 4, 2018 - Medical Waste Disposal

 

Ron Stoker
Executive Director
ISIPS
International Sharps Injury Prevention Society

Healthcare workers worldwide are concerned about needlesticks and other sharps injuries that result in life-threatening infections.  This includes home healthcare professionals and waste management personnel.   Home healthcare uses needles, syringes, lancets, auto injectors and infusion sets.

These sharps are used at home to manage medical conditions such as allergies, arthritis, cancer, diabetes, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, infertility, migraines, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, blood clotting disorders, and psoriasis.

Over 7 billion sharps are disposed of each year in the United States.  A great percentage of that trash has been used to treat diabetics.  Blood lancets, glucose sensor introducer needles, and syringes, pens, and infusion set introducer needles are used to monitor and deliver life-sustaining insulin. Unfortunately, the same equipment that is used for sustaining life threatens the health and welfare of sanitation workers and other unsuspecting individuals that might handle garbage.  There are injuries in terms of garbage disposal, cleaning personnel, trash collectors, individuals involved in home care and even children who sometimes reach into the trash.

Contaminated needles and other sharps are unsafe to people and pets if not disposed of safely because they can injure people and spread infections that cause serious health conditions. The most common infections include Hepatitis B (HBV), Hepatitis C (HCV), and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

Safe sharps disposal is important whether you are at home, at work, at school, traveling, or in other public places such as hotels, parks, and restaurants. It is imperative to never place loose needles and other sharps (those that are not placed in a sharps disposal container) in the household or public trash cans or recycling bins.  And NEVER flush them down the toilet. When sharps are disposed of in this manner it places children, household members, housekeepers, janitors and sewage workers at risk of being harmed.

What is the best method to dispose of sharps in a home environment?    Used sharps should be placed in an approved sharps disposal container.  These containers are made of puncture-resistant plastic with leak-resistant sides and bottom. They also have a tight fitting, puncture-resistant lid.

Safe Disposal

Although it is legal to place sharps containers in the trash in some municipalities it places people at risk.   ISIPS recommends that families utilizing medical sharps consider a mail-back program.  Special sharps containers can be sent through the mail for disposal with shipping cost included in the price of the sharps container. The number of people injured with contaminated sharps would be drastically reduced if all patients with diabetes followed safe practices for sharps disposal.

For more information on sharps injury prevention go to www.isips.org or by sending an email to info@isips.org

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Biohazard Waste Disposal Guide

June 4, 2018 - Medical Waste Disposal

Originally Posted 02/16 updated 05/18

Biohazard waste is waste that is contaminated with blood or other infectious materials. The infectious materials pose a risk of spreading disease in humans, animals and the environment. Biohazard waste is typically treated in an autoclave process which renders the waste harmless and then it is disposed of.  Medical waste can be very confusing, what federal laws apply? What are my local State, City. County requirements? We have put together this handy guide and hope you find it useful.

Do you know how to identify biohazard waste?
Do you know how to properly package this type of waste?

We at MedPro Disposal have put together a useful guide on everything you should know about biohazard waste disposal. From identifying what biohazard waste is to the management, collection, and treatment of it. MedPro Disposal provides all the important facts and answers to your questions.

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Biohazard Bags

June 4, 2018 - Medical Waste Disposal

Article previously published 2016 – updated 2018

Biohazard Bags – Why are Most Red?

Biohazardous waste bags must be either RED or clear (orange bags are not allowed) and labeled with either the words “Biohazardous Waste,” or with a biohazard symbol and the word “Biohazard.” These bags must be disposable and impervious to moisture, and have strength sufficient to preclude ripping, tearing, or bursting under normal conditions of usage and handling.

Red biohazard bags must be used for regulated Medical Waste, which is regulated by the Department of Public Health (DPH). Regulated Medical Waste is generated or produced as a result of any of the following:

· Diagnosis, treatment, or immunization of human beings or animals

· Research pertaining to treatment, diagnosis, or immunization of human beings or animals or

· The production of biologicals

In some cases you will see a clear Biohazard Bag

Clear biohazard bags are used for biohazardous waste that is not regulated by the Department of Public Health (DPH) but may be regulated by other biosafety standards. A laboratory can use clear biohazard bags only when the Biosafety Work Authorization has identified a laboratory’s biohazardous waste as nonregulated waste. Anytime the research significantly changes in a laboratory that uses clear bags, it is the responsibility of the laboratory to determine the proper identification.

The color of a biohazardous bag is used to differentiate between DPH-regulated biohazardous waste (red), and non-DPH-regulated biohazardous waste that may be regulated by other standards (clear). The color of the bag does not indicate the level of biological risk or final treatment. Both colors of bags are disposed of and treated for the biohazardous/medical waste in the same manner.

Dispose of Facilities Waste

Healthcare providers and facilities alike produce medical/biohazardous waste daily. This medical/biohazardous cannot be disposed of with your normal garbage due to many factors. This waste must be disposed of in a separate specified container/bags. Unlike your normal trash bags, these biohazard bags must be equipped to handle potentially dangerous material.

To Stay Compliant

There are many different reasons why facilities must use biohazard bags. One of the more prominent reasons is to stay compliant on state and federal levels. While there is an overseeing agency for the United States, each state is given the ability to govern regulations for medical waste disposal.

 

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Occupational Safety and Health Administration is the agency that gives foundation for all the requirements of all facilities. OSHA’s mission is to assure safe and healthful workplaces by setting and enforcing standards, and by providing training, outreach, education, and assistance.

Forms of Biohazard Bags

Depending on the state, biohazardous waste bags must either be red, clear or bright orange and labeled with ether the words “Biohazardous Waste”, or with a biohazard symbol and the word “Biohazard”. There are two different colors that theses bags must be, depending of certain variables. Red biohazard bags must be used for medical waste, which is regulated by the California Department of Health Services. Then, clear biohazard bags are used for biohazardous waste that is not regulated by the California Department of Health Services.

Specifically, there are many types of bags depending of the conditions: Medical/Biohazardous waste pickup containers, laboratory biohazardous waste containers, solid medical/biohazardous waste disposal, disinfecting biohazardous waste containers, liquid medical/biohazardous waste disposal, pharmaceuticals drug disposal bags, and medical/biohazardous waste contaminated with Radioactive or chemical materials.

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Home Healthcare and Safe Home Medical Waste Disposal

June 4, 2018 - Medical Waste Disposal

By Ron Stoker – Executive Director – International Sharps Injury Prevention Society

Home healthcare is the faster growing industrial sectors in the United States. This is partially due to the challenges of a rapidly aging population.  In addition, there is a trend towards reducing hospital stays and increasing medical services in the home environment. Medical care in the home often includes medicine and vitamin injections, blood collection, diabetes monitoring, intravenous infusions of chemotherapy, antibiotics and other infusion therapies.

Most of these procedures require the use of medical devices with sharps including needles, syringes and lancets.  Needlestick and other sharps injuries present a risk of serious bloodborne pathogens including hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.  These needlestick injuries occur to nurses, nursing aids, hospice aids, certified nursing assistants (CNA) but also occurs to family members and waste handlers.

One strategy to reduce sharps injuries in the home setting is to use medical devices with safety features including safety syringes and safety lancets.  However, as reported in several studies, most medical devices used in the home setting do not have injury prevention features because they typically cost more than standard medical devices without safety features. In addition, sharps are commonly re-used for convenience and cost-savings.

The proper disposal of sharps in the home setting is critical to safety.  Improperly discarded sharps present hazards to caregivers, family members, waste handlers, and others in the community.  The improper disposal of sharps injuries can pose serious threats to municipal waste workers.  One trash collector was stuck in the leg by a contaminated needle while on the job.  About a year later he started having severe stomach pains.  Following testing his doctor informed him that he had contracted Hepatitis C, most likely from the needlestick the year before.

According to a study by the Coalition for Safe Community Needle Disposal, as many as 9 million Americans administered their own injections at home. This means that more than 3 billion syringes and lancets are disposed of in household trash each year.

One method to reduce the potential of accidental sharps injuries in the home setting is to have a convenient solution for the proper disposal of sharps waste.   I am in favor of mail-back sharps disposal systems.   My extended family has been using sharps containers for many years. With hemophiliac disorders, Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes and the need for injection therapies we generate our share of needles and lancets.  Mail back sharps disposal systems can replace costly pickup services.   The leak-proof and puncture-resistant sharps containers come with prepaid return shipping boxes. The shipping boxes have compliance tracking and notifications.   After they have been mailed back and destroyed a certificate of destruction is sent.

ISIPS, the International Sharps Injury Prevention Society, reduces the number of accidental sharps injuries that occur globally through the promotion of safety-engineered products. We are an international group comprised of medical device and pharmaceutical manufacturers, health organizations, healthcare professionals, medical waste disposal experts, hospitals, insurance industry, managed care organizations, alternate site providers, correction officials, law enforcement personnel and others that have joined forces to provide education, information, and product knowledge that will help reduce the number of sharps injuries that occur each year.

ISIPS takes the most current information available and disseminates it to healthcare workers, infection control managers, and other interested parties. The ISIPS Newsletters are issued weekly with information concerning sharps injury news, emerging sharps prevention products and technologies, waste management and regulatory and legislative environments surrounding sharps injuries.

The ISIPS Newsletter:

  • Promote sharps injury prevention
  • Communicate to the media, web sites and other outlets about the importance of sharps injury prevention and the safety benefits of Society members’ products and services.
  • Recruits new members and other supporting organizations that strengthen the Society.
  • Highlight innovations in medical technologies that reduces needlestick and other sharps injuries.
  • Focus on the dissemination of information concerning sharps injury news, regulatory and legislative environments that impact health care workers, hepatitis, HIV, and other infection control issues.

Would you like to receive the ISIPS Newsletter?  This free opt-in newsletter provides the most current information on needlestick injuries, safety products, HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, West Nile, Ebola and Zika Virus.   To receive the free ISIPS Newsletter just go to www.isips.org and sign up at the bottom of the page (highlighted below).
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Alpharetta, GA – Medical Waste Disposal

June 4, 2018 - Medical Waste Disposal

As a suburb of Atlanta, GA, Alpharetta enjoys the beauty of their scenic location with the advantages of urban access. In the center of Alpharetta is the Historic District that boasts some of the buildings that date back to the late 19th century and some even older. However, this town also includes a number of modern buildings as well as an array of festivals throughout the year.

Alpharetta is another town that was created due to the 1830’s relocation of the Native American tribes that resided in the area called “The Trail of Tears”. The removal of the inhabitants allowed vacant land that was situated along the former Cherokee trail and stretches from the Chattanooga River to the North Georgia Mountains. It served as a trading post for the original settlers and one of the first permanent landmarks of the area was the New Prospect Camp Ground. At the time it was known as “Milton” and it wasn’t until 1858 that the city of Alpharetta was chartered.

It’s believed that the name of the town is a variation on a fictional Indian girl by the name of “Alfarata” in a song that was popular in the 19th century, The Blue Juniata. There are others that think the name was created as a derivative of the first letter of the Greek alphabet. Today Alpharetta is claim to outdoor concerts, historic walks and tours, festivals and an array of restaurants, art and culture.

Residents of the area are very attune to health, wellness and the beauty of their community. They have an incredible number of independent, family-owned and private medical providers as well as hospitals of excellence such as Northside/Alpharetta Medical Campus, Wellstar North Fulton Hospital and Northside Hospital/Alpharetta Cancer Center. Each of these facilities is committed to ensuring that their patients and environment are cared for at the highest level and in doing so, they face the same challenges in medical waste disposal that exist in all provider conditions.

Medical waste is a broad term that describes anything that comes into contact with bodily fluids and the State of Georgia is one of twenty six states that is covered entirely by the federal OSHA guidelines governing that handling and disposal of medical waste. MedPro is proud to be partnered with many of the medical facilities in Alpharetta, bringing the highest quality medical waste disposal as well as other cost-effective programs such as employee training and pharmaceutical/OTC mail back. Each of our services ensure safety, efficacy and efficiency while saving both time and money. Our goal is to be the single go-to source and each program is tailored to the need of the customer.

 

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A potential client can sign up by answering only two questions: the quantity of medical waste that needs to be disposed of –and- the best time in the schedule for pickup.

MedPro understands that staff training can interrupt the focus on the health of patients and we have convenient online training videos that include a certificate of completion. In addition, we bring peace of mind on the topic of pharmaceutical/OTC expired or unused medications with a complete mail back program. Our procedures are completely compliant and our staff undergoes rigorous training to make sure that we take the worry out each process. We incorporate the services that healthcare providers require so that the procedures become the easiest of their day.

 

Our experience has allowed MedPro to be one of the nationally recognized for having a reputation of safety record excellence. Each service is based on listening to the customer as they need to have the best programs that are most fit for their needs as well as offering cost-effective savings.

 

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Proper Medical Waste Disposal Saves Time and Money

June 4, 2018 - Medical Waste Disposal

It’s the responsibility of every medical location to make sure that all are aware of and dispose of medical waste in appropriate manner. This ensures the safety of the staff, patients and the community/ecology while also saving time and money.

The average medical office, whether private, clinic or hospital, is incredibly busy and when things become chaotic, mistakes can happen. One of the highest priorities involves ensuring that medical waste is properly disposed of, and disorganization can wreak havoc in both safety and compliance. The costs associated with non-compliance goes beyond just financial and encroaches on the overall reputation, which can often take years to overcome.

Each facility needs to take a hard look at both the methods and their staff training when it comes to medical waste disposal. Everyone should be aware of exactly what waste goes into the ‘red bags’ so that they don’t fall prey to tossing standard trash in or making the mistake of putting medical waste in the standard trash. Explicit guidelines regarding waste disposal that are posted for employees to view and check is the first level of security.

Defining Medical Waste:

Medical waste is considered to be anything that contains significant amounts of blood, body fluids or OPIM’s (other potentially infectious materials. These can include: Saliva from dental work, cerebrospinal fluid, pericardial fluid, synovial fluid, amniotic fluid, peritoneal fluid, vaginal fluid or semen, and pleural fluid.

Medical waste also incorporates the materials that may be contaminated, including items that will release OPIM, semi-liquid or liquid; items with semi-liquid, liquid or OPIM, items with caked or dried blood or OPIM, sharps contaminated with OPIM or blood, microbiological or pathological wastes.

Check with your State to see if they have additional medical waste categories. Some have explicit rules regarding: Human blood and blood products, sharps, animal research wastes, cultures and stocks, and human pathological waste.

It should be noted that feces and urine are not medical waste. Such items as urine cups and diapers shouldn’t be placed in red bags. The same rule of thumb should be applied to soiled/non-bloodied gloves, tray and table covers, and the devices used for emptying and packaging medical vials.

All employees of the company should not only be trained on the disposal of medical wastes, but should have training updates to make sure that errors and mistakes are kept to a minimum.

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