How Should We Approach Medical Waste During COVID-19 Process?
We are going through a pandemic process that profoundly affects the whole world and changes our daily life. In the process, hospitals are perhaps more intense than ever before, and medical waste is produced like never previously. These medical/hazardous wastes should also be sent to waste sites carefully and in a way that does not harm nature. So how can we do this?
During the pandemic, we have to make sure that medical wastes are appropriately collected, treated, and disposed of appropriately and safely. As a result, medical waste is processed before disposal to eliminate any possibility of infection. After processing, medical waste is regularly sent to landfills.
In developing or underdeveloped countries, sending medical waste to landfills regularly, or temporarily storing it is the only solution available. If it is disposed of in landfills, it has to be applied. Most importantly, employees should be informed about the hazards of medical waste.
As might be expected, there are some dangers involved in medical waste. These are:
-Presence of toxic or dangerous chemicals
-Presence of biologically aggressive pharmaceuticals
-Having used sharps.
So, what can we do to protect against these dangers?
1: We must create a safer environment for everyone.
We should prefer areas of existing and tight control. We should prefer hygienic storage areas instead of waste storage areas and discharge areas. If we do not have a landfill, we should use well-designed waste disposal sites.
2: Let's avoid contact!
The main goal here is to minimize the risk that waste workers will face during their disposal activities. Once the medical waste has been emptied, we must ensure that no human or animal comes in contact with it.
3: Let's be attentive.
If medical waste is brought to the disposal site: Employees interested in waste should be informed and, if possible, special measures such as wearing masks and gloves should be taken.
In any case, employees should stay away and avoid direct contact with waste. Waste should be emptied as close as possible to the disposal area.
4: Think deeply and be isolated.
Use old parts of waste storage areas and create an exclusive zone for health waste, pit if possible.
Medical Waste Storage and Pandemic
Waste storage sites are an integral part of any waste management system. In pandemics, when no heat treatment is done, waste storage sites are a safe storage area for healthcare waste, no matter what, however, some procedures must be followed.
However, even if heat treatment for infectious wastes is available, regular storage sites can provide an alternative disposal path for us as healthcare waste produced in pandemics is often much higher than usual.