Common Mistakes To Avoid When Disposing of Medical Waste

Updated on August 28, 2023
Common Mistakes To Avoid When Disposing of Medical Waste

Medical waste must be disposed of in any medical setting. Medical waste is hazardous, and it must be discarded through the proper means. Someone will have to handle the contaminated material until it’s discarded at its correct destination. Some mistakes could occur in that time, which could put people at serious risk. Learn what to watch out for with this list of common mistakes to avoid when disposing of medical waste.

Mixing Medical Waste with Other Types

Medical waste should never be mixed with any other types of waste. If it gets mixed with normal waste, it runs a massive risk of not disposed of properly, which presents dangers to the public. Medical waste should be placed in specially marked containers, which are often supplied through lab packs. Medical facilities can choose a lab pack provider that will assist in providing the correct equipment.

Multitasking While Handling Waste

Any kind of multitasking during the handling of medical waste increases risk to everyone’s health, including your own. Eating, drinking, and smoking are common examples of what you shouldn’t do in this situation. Medical waste generally includes hazardous substances to which you must be attentive until you’ve properly disposed of the waste in order to prevent exposure.

Allowing Liquids to Leak

Medical waste could contain bodily fluids, medicines, laboratory chemicals, and disinfectants. If not properly contained, these fluids could leak, which could expose those around them. This is another reason why medical waste needs to be kept in well-sealed, durable containers. This measure should prevent any issues of leakage.

Improperly Discard Sharps

Another common material in medical waste is sharps, which are items such as used needles and disposable tools for drawing blood. These must be discarded separately from medical waste, as they could easily cause punctures, leaks of other materials, and exposure to the person handling the waste. Sharps are always discarded in specific containers that seal well and that are designed for durability.

Not Using Proper Protection

You might not think this would be one of the common mistakes to avoid when disposing of medical waste, but unfortunately, it happens more often than it should. A person handling medical waste must wear the proper protection. Along with gloves, they should wear face masks, goggles, and gowns. Anything less can result in exposure to the hazardous material.

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