The Categories and Treatment of Medical Waste

1,What’s Medical Waste

Medical waste includes five categories: infectious waste, damaging waste, pharmaceutical waste, chemical waste and pathological waste.

(1)Infectious waste

Infectious waste is that which is suspected of containing pathogens (bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi) in a sufficiently large quantity or concentration to result in disease in susceptible hosts. This category includes:

•cultures and stocks of infectious agents from laboratories;

•waste from operations and autopsies on patients with infectious diseases (e.g. body tissues, and materials or instruments having come into contact with blood or other body fluids);

•waste originating from infected patients in isolation wards (e.g. feces and urine, dressings from infected or surgical wounds, clothing that is heavily soiled with blood or other body fluids);

•waste having come into contact with infected hemodialysis patients (e.g. dialysis equipment such as tubing and filters, disposable towels, gloves, aprons, laboratory coats, and gowns);

•infected animals from laboratories.

(2) Damaging waste

Discarded metal sharps, such as medical needles, suture needles,acupuncture needles, probes, puncture needles and various guide wires, steel nails, surgical saws, etc.

Discarded glass sharps, such as coverlips, slides, glass ampoules, broken glass test tubes.

Discarded sharps of other materials, such as disposable tweezers, disposable probes, disposable plastic pipette tips, etc.

(3) Pharmaceutical waste

Expired, obsolete, deteriorated or contaminated obsolete drugs.

1,General medicines discarded in batches, such as antibiotics and over-the counter medicines.

2. Discarded cytotoxic drugs and genotoxic drugs, including: carcinogenic drugs, suspected carcinogenic drugs, and immunosuppressants.

3. Discarded vaccines, blood products, etc.

(4)Waste chemicals

Waste chemicals which are toxic, corrosive, and flammable and explosive.

1.Discarded chemical reagents which are used in medical imaging  medical experiments. Discarded chemical disinfectants such as peroxyacetic acid and glutaraldehyde.

2. Discarded appliances and articles which are containing heavy metal substances, such as mercury-containing sphygmomanometers, mercury-containing thermometers, and mercury-containing articles after use in the dental department.

(5)Pathological waste

Infectious materials containing dead tissue may conceal especially dangerous and/or communicable infectious agents. Such waste includes blood, body fluids, tissues, organs, body parts, human fetuses, and animal carcasses. A subcategory of pathological waste is anatomical waste, which consists of identifiable human or animal body parts, healthy or otherwise.

2.Medical hazardous waste disposal and treatment technologies

1, Incineration

2, Chemical disinfection

3, Steam sterilization

4, Microwave irradiation

5, Land disposal

6, Inertization