by John Nicklin
Posted on Tue Dec 6, 2016
A straight forward plan to deal with an issue that may seem new to many of you however this issue has been successfully addressed for decades. It’s all over the news, landfills that won’t accept ashes from incinerated waste, towns and states that won’t let waste be transported across their borders, special permits, Category A Packaging, warehouses full of drums and 6mil liners. STOP! Realize that all this public backlash and 3rd party noise is due to the fact that YOU do not have a plan. It’s really that simple.
Let’s talk about this in plain English. You are the health care provider, this is your role within your community. If a patient presents at your ER with symptoms of a virulent pathogen what are your concerns?
1. You won’t know how many patients will present depending on whether it’s an isolated incident or a local cell. 2. You have to have an active plan to accommodate 1 or more patients without exposing the rest of your organization to potentially infectious materials. 3. You need to limit the number of employees who are exposed to the patient(s) and/or any potentially infectious materials. 4. And assuming the worst you must plan that all garments, gowns, sheets, drapes and any material worn or coming in contact with the patient(s) will become disposable so you will generate a very large volume of waste.
OK, so take a wing with good isolation preparedness and build bio barriers, temporary walls, isolating 2, 4, 6 or more rooms into a containment SUITE. Now place a medium size BSL rated double door Autoclave into that wall so that anything leaving the suite must pass through the autoclave first. And if volume is an issue assuming there will be a bio barrier at each end of the hall put two (2) autoclaves in, one on each end.
And look, this solution is really just a function of thinking all the way through the containment strategy. This will work for any conceivable scenario that you should be prepared for anyway. Now you have management options available, want to be extra, extra sure the waste is treated properly? OK just treat it twice as long.. There is no down side.
CDC Guidelines specify that it is the health care practitioner who determines whether waste is infectious. So do your job, take control of the process and mitigate your risk.
WASTE ISSUE SOLVED, DONE…. Now you can focus on healthcare.
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I have personally been to government research facilities working with Ebola and Hemorrhagic Fever agents using the double door autoclave waste protocol and the reason it’s not more commonly known is because it works. If it didn’t work there would have been epidemics long ago.