EBOLA Waste

It’s all over the news, landfills that won’t accept ashes from incinerated waste, states that won’t let waste be transported across their borders, special permits, category A packaging requirements, warehouses full of drums, expensive kits and 6mil liners.

All this public backlash and 3rd party noise is due to the fact that the health care community does not have a plan. It’s really that simple.

Let’s talk about this issue in plain English. A patient presents to your ER with symptoms of Ebola, 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 need to have a plan to isolate 1 or more patients without exposing the rest of your organization to potential infection.
  3. You must limit the number of employees who are exposed to the patients and any material that has come in contact with them.
  4. 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.
  5. And that waste will be infectious, so what do you do with it? Pile it up in the corner? Move the infectious material to another area of the hospital potentially exposing others along the way? Ship bulky drums with multiple layers of inner packaging in and out of the isolation area? And what if the drums themselves become contaminated?

The PLAN

A straight forward plan to deal with an issue that isn’t really as complex as it seems.

Identify your isolation area and install temporary bio-barriers, walls, in each end of the hallway isolating 2, 4, 6 or more rooms into a BSL3 containment SUITE. Now place a medium size BSL3 rated double door (this feature is very important) Autoclave into those walls. If high volume need is anticipated such as multiple patients you can install a BSL3 double door Autoclave at each end of the hall.

Once an effective clean and dirty barrier has been created, all waste leaving the isolation suite is placed into the Autoclave on the dirty side for sterilization and can safely pass through to the clean side without breaking the bio-barrier. The waste can now be safely handled as Regulated Medical Waste as an added precaution.

Now is NOT the time to try out new unproven technologies. The double door Autoclave waste treatment protocol has been used without incident in private and government research facilities working with Ebola and other virulent infectious agents for decades. DO treat 100% of this waste within the isolation environment and do NOT expose your lowest paid and least educated workers to infectious materials.

And this solution is really just a function of thinking all the way through the containment strategy. This will plan work for any conceivable scenario which you should be prepared for anyway! Once you have a process in place you will then have additional management options available, such as:

  • If you want to be extra, extra sure waste is sterilized properly just treat it twice as long! There is no downside to this.
  • It you have tools, instruments or other assets in the containment area don’t dispose of them, sterilize them!

CDC Guidelines specify that it is the health care practitioner who determines whether waste is infectious. So as a health care professional take control of the process and mitigate your risk.

WasteStrategies provides a simple solution to a complex problem

WasteStrategies’ experienced team can provide you with BSL3 rated double door Autoclaves, installation, service, training and support to meet any need.

We have designed medium sized BSL3 double door Autoclaves with the following minimum features and standards:

  • Bio-barrier: flexible bio seal for connection to flexible or rigid barrier walls.
  • Double Doors: clean side / dirty side configuration on manual hinges to simplify the operation and avoid future maintenance issues.
  • Interlock: doors will not open until material is fully sterilized.
  • BSL3 Filtration: all gas and liquid discharged from Autoclave is sterilized through a regenerative bio filter.
  • Service Access: all mechanical components are accessible from the clean side of the barrier wall thus eliminating the need to enter the containment area for maintenance.
  • Mobility Options:
    • Built in STEAM GENERATOR: 480V 3PH 37A electric steam generator eliminates the need to run house steam.
    • Casters: autoclave mounted on casters for flexible deployment.

There are two (2) ways to be prepared:

  1. Install knock out panels in walls with utilities and we will provide you with access to BSL3 double door Autoclaves on casters which can be delivered on call to any of your locations within two (2) hours’ notice.
  2. Permanently install BSL3 double door Autoclaves within designated areas.

Equipment, Training and Support is available now on a flat monthly / annual fee basis.

Request a phone call to learn about our program.

On-site Medical Waste Treatment Systems and Ebola

We do NOT recommend treating Ebola Waste at your dock through an On-site Regulated Medical Waste Treatment System because of many significant safety concerns including the following:

1.
If you are going to transport Ebola waste to your dock you will already have had to package it as category A material OR you will risk exposing many additional workers and hence the community to Ebola.
2.
Once it is packaged as Category A material it cannot be processed as regulated medical waste.
3.
And there is NO Regulated Medical Waste
Treatment System today that meets BSL3-4
biohazard standards.

So if you follow this line of reasoning the case FOR On-site Regulated Medical Waste Treatment is dead on arrival, the ONLY option is sterilization of the material in the BSL3 isolation environment or to package it as Category A material which we frankly believe carries a great deal of cross contamination risk itself.

Ours is a clinical approach.