Healthcare facilities and medical waste disposal companies are following strict in-house guidelines, as well as federal and state regulations, to contain the coronavirus outbreak.
The COVID-19 virus had spread to six continents, affecting more than 200 countries. As of August 7, 2020, approximately 718,000 people had died due to the respiratory illness. The risk of getting infected is still high, especially for those who live in areas with confirmed COVID-19 cases. Most of these deaths occurred in Brazil and the U.S.
Amid the pandemic, people are still advised to stay home and avoid public places or mass gatherings. Some territories have lifted the travel restrictions, but people who had been in close contact with an infected individual should seek immediate medical attention.
The respiratory disease has affected not only the people, but also the numerous medical practices around the world. In fact, it changed the way health care services are delivered in many countries such as the United States. The pandemic also affected the operations of healthcare facilities, as well as the lives of millions of physicians and their staff.
The pandemic has truly changed the game for many healthcare facilities across the globe. It affected the entire industry in so many ways, including the following:
Medical facilities must provide the best possible care for all patients and their healthcare staff. Operating safely and effectively during the pandemic is of utmost importance. There is also a need to adjust the way they provide care to patients. The current options include:
Proper preparation is important to keep the practice safe for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 patients, as well as the healthcare personnel on duty. Here’s how medical facilities can respond to the pandemic:
Medical facilities and waste management companies are currently following strict guidelines to protect more lives and prevent the rapid spread of the deadly respiratory disease. Every state’s health agency and environmental protection agency usually regulates the management and disposal of medical waste. CDC, FDA, and OSHA also have regulations when it comes to medical waste management and disposal.
Physicians and medical staff should observe the utmost care when handing and disposing of medical waste. For example, medical sharps and used needles must be collected and consolidated properly before being discarded. Most of the time, a leak-free biohazard bag is used to contain regulated medical wastes.
Federal and state regulations require medical facilities to store and transport regulated medical wastes safely. To avoid the accumulation of potentially infectious wastes, healthcare facilities must dispose of their waste regularly. If there’s a need to store medical waste, it should be kept in a sturdy and properly labeled container to avoid leaks and contamination. The container should be placed in a room with the right temperature to prevent foul odors. Medical waste must also be treated or decontaminated in the facility prior to further handling and disposal.
The alternative medical waste treatment and disposal technologies used today include autoclaving, microwave, and electropyrolysis. Treating medical wastes is important to protect medical waste disposal workers against potential transmission of COVID-19 and other diseases. Medical waste disposal companies are also using advanced and compliant procedures and technologies to protect the environment and the people, as well as help prevent the respiratory disease from spreading.
Medical facilities and medical waste disposal companies have a big responsibility, especially in this new COVID world. Every possible preventive measure should be taken to save more lives and preserve a safe and healthy world for the next generations.
Cedric Matthews is a dedicated physician with multiple years of clinical experience under his belt. He wishes to spread awareness of the medical industry’s current situation.