Biomedical waste management is under terrible strain
Hospitals are not treating biomedical waste according to the guidelines which can pose serious risks to the patients in hospitals.
By- Aastha Chopra
17th January 2023
Bangalore has seen an increase in viral infections in the last three months. According to the medical community experts and a survey by the journal of health, almost 30 percent of patients, especially the health care staff get infected by biomedical waste which is not treated properly inside the hospital premises.
There is almost 80000 thousand generated in Bangalore city out of which 50000 is treated on a daily basis. About 37 percent of biomedical waste remains untreated by hospital facilities.
According to the doctors, due to the biomedical waste there is a high risk of water and air contamination- cases of cholera, diarrhea and common flu have been seen on the rise.
A patient attendant in Victoria hospital said,“ We see it every time, we can see the hospital waste lying outside sometimes, especially during the morning, it smells very much and it is dangerous for the patients too because it is so close to the wards and OPD”.
There is approximately 2334 kgs of biomedical waste generated in Bangalore city. According to the Bio-Medical Waste(Management and Handling) Rules pre-treated laboratory waste, blood waste and microbiological waste are sent to a common place where all the waste is treated. In addition to it, biomedical waste cannot be mixed with municipal waste. The people who are involved in the treatment of biomedical waste have to wear special equipment.
According to hospitals, failing to segregate biomedical waste is the major issue, the biomedical waste will end up mixed in landfills. In addition to it, due to irresponsible staff, the waste is kept in hospital premises for hours which increase the rate of infections.
Srinath MK, vice president of Maridi said,“ The main problem in hospitals is the irresponsible staff who fails to segregate waste. Segregation of medical waste is very important because biomedical waste is the most hazardous waste. And the staff keeps on changing they do not get enough training for waste segregation. If the waste doesn’t get segregated properly, especially the syringes and needles, it can cause health hazards for the staff as well”.
According to Maridi Pvt ltd, that deals with all the biomedical waste of Bangalore, in some hospitals, the guidelines are not followed. The hospital lacks people who deal with biomedical waste. The hospital does not have sealed tight trolleys to carry waste from the hospital premises, therefore the segregated waste gets mixed.
According to the doctors, there is a high risk of waterborne and airborne diseases especially due to the blood sample and human organs which are burnt instantly to prevent the spread of infection.
Experts say it is not only important to reduce the impact it has on the environment, but also health issues that are neglected which can be raised from toxins that are not disposed of properly.
The assistant professor of the medical community of Ramaiah Medical College Dr. Suman said, “The waste management should be carried out by properly trained staff.
The temperatures of the burners should be inspected and the chimneys which are used as vents should contain filters that are harmless to the environment. The incinerator and autoclaves should be at proper temperatures as stated by the guideline. Especially the drugs and other products should only be bought if they have a green certificate. ”
Regular inspections and audits should be conducted by the Karnataka state pollution control board (KSPCB) to keep check for almost 4000 hospitals that come under Madiri. It is mandatory for all hospitals to follow the guidelines or there are hefty penalties for them.
Keywords- Maridi, biomedical waste, segregation, infections, hospital, waste management
Tags- city, health, hospital, waste, biomedical, waste management