Regulations and legal aspects in management of medical waste

Sikovska, Biljana and Dimova, Cena and Sumanov, Gorgi and Apostoloski, Pavle (2015) Regulations and legal aspects in management of medical waste. In: International Symposium at Faculty of Medical Sciences “Current achievements and future perspectives in medical and biomedical research”, 24 Nov 2015, Stip, Macedonia.

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Medical waste, according to the law of waste management is waste generated in medical and health institutions (dispensaries, hospitals, polyclinics and outpatient clinics, dental clinics, veterinary stations etc.), originated as a product of used items and materials during diagnosis, convalescence, treatment and prevention in humans and animals. Medical waste is a risk to those who produce, package, store, transport, treat and perform disposition. The possibility of infection of some diseases and their spread in hospitals due to negligence in the handling of medical waste, have to inform the entire staff in management and disposition to reduce the risk to minimum. The actual management of medical waste, is an organized process that consists of five elements: separation, identification, handling, treatment and disposal. Medical waste, as a waste that is a result of the provision of informal care can be divided into two groups - municipal and hazardous medical waste. The municipal medical waste includes: paper, cartons, glass, food scraps and other common debris arising in the administration, kitchens and laundries. On the other hand hazardous medical waste contains elements of chemical and biological threat, whether in the form of solid, liquid or gaseous waste. The properties of hazardous medical waste are virulence, toxicity, carcinogenicity, infection and so on. According to these properties hazardous medical waste differs from the municipal medical waste. Objective: The aim of the study was to highlight the importance of knowledge of legal regulations and provisions of the proper management of medical waste with special emphasis on attitudes, division and recommendations of the World Health Organization. Material and Methods: As a special heterogeneous mixture of municipal, infectious, pathological, pharmaceutical, laboratory waste, disinfection agents and packaging, as well as radioactive and chemical waste, hazardous medical waste can be divided into several subgroups for easier and more accurate identification and, therefore, is divided on: - Infectious (laboratory cultures, fluids, materials and equipment that have been in contact with infected patients); - Pathological (blood, other body fluids, body parts, fetuses); - Sharp (objects of needles, scalpels, knives, broken glass); - Pharmaceutical (drugs, residues of drugs); - Genotoxic (cytostatic, genotoxic chemicals); - Chemical (solvents, laboratory reagents, disinfectants); - Heavy metal (batteries, sphygmomanometers, thermometers); - Pressure vessels (gas cylinders, metal vessels) and - Radioactive waste (scrap used in radiation therapy, urine and fluids of patients treated with radio-nuclides). Infectious medical waste should be disinfected before disposition in a properly permitted land fill. Disinfected means the waste has been treated by any method used to destroy or kill infectious microorganisms with a potential to cause disease Effective treatments include: • Incineration in a facility approved and permitted in compliance with the current requirements of the Idaho air quality rules. • Sterilization by heating in a steam sterilizer, such as an autoclave, at time lengths and temperatures necessary to kill infectious agents within the waste. • Other methods include chemical disinfection, thermal inactivation, irradiation, and gas/vapor sterilization. Results: The World Health Organization recommends as protective gear for anyone who comes into contact with medical waste to wear: helmet; protective face mask; goggles; Special jumpsuits; industrial aprons; feet guards; boots etc. it is recommended that generators of infectious medical waste require companies or persons collecting and disposing of the waste to supply the generator with certified forms documenting proper management and disposal of the waste. Regulation and management by country is different, for example in the UK clinical waste and the way it is to be handled is closely regulated. In the US biomedical waste is usually regulated as medical waste. Conclusion: It's important to clearly define the responsibility for proper waste management, to the process of its final processing. It is necessary to develop a comprehensive and planned management system that beside responsibility, should provide funds for safe implementation of waste. This is a long process that despite organizational structure requires individual and professional commitment. The rules and regulations worldwide (1988 - UK; 1998 - US) work with The Bio-medical Waste (Management and Handling). Worldwide, there are specific colored bags, bins and labels that are recommended for each type of waste (syringes, needles and blood-soiled bandages should be all disposed of in a yellow or red colored bag or bin, where it will later be incinerated). Keywords: Hazardous medical waste, Infective material, Law of waste management, Medical waste, Municipal waste

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Subjects: Medical and Health Sciences > Basic medicine
Medical and Health Sciences > Clinical medicine
Medical and Health Sciences > Health sciences
Medical and Health Sciences > Other medical sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Medical Science
Depositing User: Cena Dimova
Date Deposited: 28 Jan 2016 10:12
Last Modified: 28 Jan 2016 10:12

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