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Medical Waste Containers: Preventing Blood-borne Infections

Hospitals and health centers are places where people go to whenever they need medical attention. But these are also the places where people can get infected, especially those who are working in this kind of setting. Bloody bandages, body waste and fluids, used needles and gloves are just some of the sources of infection while an individual is in the hospital. The risks are greater for health workers, who spend most of their day assisting sick patients. Observing proper safety precaution and prevention reduces the risks of getting contaminated.

One of the most dangerous health risks that a health worker can acquire is contracting a blood-borne infection. This usually happens when the person accidentally pricks his or her skin with a used needle. Deadly blood-borne pathogens such as HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C are reported as an acquired infection from an uncapped needle.

Most body fluids are considered as biohazards since patients release the bacteria or virus through defecation, urine, sweat, saliva and other glands. Anything that comes in contact with a patient's body is considered contaminated. These are therefore disposed of properly.

Disposing medical wastes are different from disposing regular household garbage. If bloody bandages from an infected person are thrown in an unlabeled garbage can, the sanitary personnel can get infected especially if they do not wear suitable protection. Those personnel can infect another person, perhaps a family member, and the virus will keep on spreading within the society.

That is why Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) established preventive protocols that protect the lives of health workers. The OSHA guideline states that “medical equipment, contaminated waste containers and laundry must be packaged and color-coded or labeled, and employees must be provided with gloves, goggles and splash aprons for handling hazardous chemicals. Used needles must be placed in special puncture-proof, leak-proof, closed containers. Scrupulous hand washing is always a priority."

Medical Waste Containers are designed as the appropriate equipment for disposing biohazard waste. These are made from polyethylene, which is very durable especially for the disposal of wet materials. These do not corrode nor leak, that's why it's ideal for soiled linens and towels. These also have tight lids to secure any airborne pathogens coming from the waste. There are also waste containers made of metal that can be used for medical offices and other low-risk facilities. These medical waste containers are also colored and labeled for proper waste identification.

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