Are you disposing of your endoscopy unit’s medical waste properly? A study from Gastroenterology Nursing suggests that the answer is probably no.
A survey of more than 1,000 endoscopy professionals showed that 58% of staff members and 65% of gastroenterologists handled simple endoscopy accessories as regulated medical waste (RMW) instead of regular trash, while 27% of respondents discarded endoscopic accessories as sharps—although they are not considered sharps (Gastroenterol Nurs 2017;40:13-18).
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration defines RMW as:
- liquid or semiliquid blood or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM);
- contaminated items that would release blood or OPIM in a liquid or semiliquid state if compressed, such as blood-soaked gauze;