Different types of medical waste are usually categorized by types of materials. Medical waste is also categorized by waste disposal methods. The United Kingdom separates its medical waste into two main types. Hazardous and non-hazardous. Other parts of the world has four major types of medical waste. General, infectious, hazardous, and radioactive.
What is medical waste?
Medical waste is a by-product of healthcare work. It usually comes from surgeries and dental operations. It includes any material that could come into contact with the body. Especially during diagnosis, drug administration or treatment. It is usually infectious and contaminated in some way.
Medical waste in the United States of America
The Medical Waste Guidance defines solid medical waste in the United States. It also categorizes them into four categories. The Environmental Protection Agency handles this.
- General waste
The bulk of most medical waste belongs in this category. This is usually a typical household and office waste. It is important to separate this from other medical waste.
- Infectious waste
Any waste that could infect humans. Blood, human tissue or anything contaminated with body fluids fall under this category.
- Hazardous waste
Dangerous waste that is not infectious is hazardous waste. This includes sharp objects like needles. Discarded surgical equipment and some chemical waste also belong here.
- Radioactive waste
This is any waste generated as a result of radioactive treatments. Such as cancer therapies. Medical equipment that uses nuclear elements is also radioactive waste.
Medical waste in the United Kingdom
Different types of medical wastes get segregated in the United Kingdom. There are six categories that it uses.
- Infectious waste
Any waste generated from individual treatments. Waste contaminated with any infectious body fluids is also under this category.
- Cytotoxic or cytostatic waste
Cytotoxic or cytostatic medicine and drugs belong here. As well as items that come into contact with any toxic or carcinogenic medicine.
- Medicinal waste
This is medicine, pills, and creams that are not cytotoxic or cytostatic.
- Anatomical waste
All waste from a human or animal. This includes body parts and blood bags.
- Offensive waste
Non-infectious waste is an offensive waste. It includes sanitary and nappy waste.
- Domestic or municipal
All other general and non-clinical waste belong to this category.
There are different ways to categorize and name medical waste. The different medical waste streams are similar. You should understand the types of waste within each. This will ensure that you can dispose of each type in a proper manner. There are some medical wastes that you cannot dispose of on your own. You can contact the Wyoming medical waste disposal team. They will help you manage your medical waste. Different types of medical waste need different disposal techniques. This will ensure that any infectious materials cannot contaminate other areas. It will also prevent it from spreading.