HCWM technologies in medium-sized HCFs

Just like in large HCFs, technical devices used for the safe management of HCW can be found at the level of containerization, handling (on and off-site), treatment and final disposal.

Containerization

The recipients used for the different categories of HCW must not only be sufficiently robust to minimize accidental spillages (example of a plastic bag containing infectious waste that tears open), but have also the appropriate colour coding and labelling for clear and univocal identification.

Handling

Sanitary staff and cleaners should always wear protective clothing including, as a minimum, boots or robust working shoes and strong rubber gloves.

The internal transport of HCW requires the use of dedicated wheelie bins, trolleys or carts [read more…]

Internal transport should follow specific routes through the HCF to reduce the passage of loaded carts through wards and other clean areas. The carts should be 1) easy to load and unload, 2) have no sharp edges that could damage waste bags or containers and 3) easy to clean.

The external (off-site) transportation of HCW is required when hazardous HCW is treated outside the HCF. [read more…]

The waste producer is then responsible for the proper packaging and labelling of the containers that are transported.

The transportation should always be properly documented and all vehicles should carry a consignment note from the point of collection to the treatment facility. Furthermore, the vehicles used for the collection of hazardous / infectious HCW should not be used for any other purpose. They shall be free of sharp edges, easy to load and unload as well as to clean / disinfect, and fully enclosed to prevent any spillage

Treatment

In most cases, medium-sized HCFs don't produce a sufficient amount of HCW to justify the purchase of a relatively sophisticated HCW treatment unit, unless they can operate as a HCW treatment centre for a number of smaller HCFs situated within a limited perimeter [read more…]

The typical scenario is that either they can have their waste dealt with by a private waste treatment company or they will have to adopt a usually less satisfactory technical option such as double-chamber incinerators without flue-gas filtering devices.

The final choice between an on or off-site treatment option will depend on a number of parameters as explained in the overview.