Medical Waste Disposal Protocols: Red Bag Tips
Handling hazardous waste is a job for the professionals so a reputable medical waste disposal company usually partners with local facilities. Each day, medical personnel use, seal and transport waste within their own hospitals and offices awaiting biohazard waste pick up. With this fact in mind, it’s important for healthcare providers to know how containers and red bags should be treated before the final medical waste disposal pickup is made.
Discovered Medical Waste Disposal Supplies
Medical facilities order several types of supplies at a given time, including medical waste disposal bags. As supplies grow, these items may be placed in cabinets for use at a future date. It’s possible for these items to be forgotten. If medical personnel find an old box of red bags, the best choice is to discard them. Over time, the bags may have been exposed to light, bacteria, pests and other substances. Minute holes may be found along the plastic, but they’re too small to be seen by the naked eye. Avoid any waste spills by simply using a brand-new box.
Concerning Sharps and Other Hazardous Waste
Red bags are certainly strong, but they’re not designed to hold any sharps materials. Keep syringes, blades and other items out of red bags. The sharp edges can easily break through the plastic barrier. They belong in official, sharps containers. There is an exception to this rule, however, because the sharps containers can be placed in the red bags if necessary. The container is simply another barrier against any cuts or breaks in the material. Hazardous waste that can eat through the red bag, such as formaldehyde, should also be placed in an alternative container. Certain chemicals will punch holes through the bags and render them useless.
Medical professionals need to view red bags in the same manner as their garbage containers. Overfilling the containers only creates a problem when people try to tie off the top and discard the materials. Ideally, fill the red bags only partially to the top. Some bag brands have a top-fill line that can be followed. Tying off the bag with an associated wrap should always be easy so that no items become loose.
Analyzing Printed Logos
Medical facilities are busy places most of the year, which makes supply handling a second thought at times. It’s possible for the most decorated medical workers to pull the wrong bags when they’re in a hurry. Medical waste companies simplify the situation by adding visible logos to the red bags. Official, hazardous waste logos will usually line one side of the red bags so that they’re never mistaken for another use. The bright-red color is also designated for medical-purposes only so no other brands should have this hue.
Wearing the Proper Garments
On a regular basis, a medical waste disposal company should be in charge of removing and replacing these red bags. However, medical facilities may find that their employees need to handle the waste at times. Although the items are safely held within the plastic, handlers should always wear gloves, gowns and eye protection. If any items become loose, the handler will still be safe from contamination. Ideally, one or two people should handle the waste at once so that there’s always an extra set of eyes to verify the proper protocols.
Red bags can be purchased from third-party sellers, but the best resource is normally a reputable medical waste disposal company. These professionals will have the proper supplies and inventory levels to cover any facility’s needs. As a result, medical personnel don’t have to worry about compromised supplies as they go about their daily rounds.