Handling medical waste from COVID-19 testing – medical waste autoclave


According to the World Health Organization, COVID-19 is “Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Most people infected with the virus will have mild to moderate respiratory illness and will recover without special treatment. However, some people can become very ill and require medical attention. Older people and people with underlying conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease or cancer are at greater risk of developing serious illness. Anyone can be infected with COVID-19 and become seriously ill or die at any age.

The virus can be transmitted through the mouth or nose of an infected person by small fluid particles when the person coughs, sneezes, talks, sings or breathes. These particles range from larger respiratory droplets to smaller aerosols. It is important to practice breathing etiquette, such as coughing on a bent elbow, and if you feel unwell, stay at home in self-isolation until you recover.”

Impact on the health care system

COVID-19 puts a strain on the healthcare system as hospitals are often close to or at bed limits. If hospitals are already near or at bed limits for COVID-19 patients, then they are unable to provide services for emergency or routine illnesses that enter their facilities. This can be a major problem for hospitals with a sudden increase in COVID-19 cases. This is a problem because it can lead to an influx of patients from other departments into the emergency department, which will result in more delays in patient care.

COVID-19 testing generates more medical waste

COVID-19 testing generates more medical waste. As COVID-19 testing increases, schools, testing centres, healthcare facilities and businesses are generating more and more medical waste.
If your facility or business now offers COVID testing and there is additional or new medical waste as a result of the testing, more medical waste will be generated by COVID testing.

How does a medical waste autoclave treat medical waste generated by the COVID-19?

Medical waste is a hazardous waste and requires special treatment methods before it can be landfilled. The problem with current and conventional medical waste treatment methods is that they are often inefficient, incomplete or create new waste during the treatment of existing waste.
Most medical waste disposal companies and large medical institutions use a technique called autoclaving. By autoclaving, heat is used to sterilise equipment, medical waste or other contaminated objects. It works by placing objects into a cylinder, which is then filled with pressurised steam to heat everything evenly, eliminate any microorganisms and sterilise non-pathological infectious waste. In hospitals, autoclaves are commonly used to sterilise reusable medical equipment.
The medical waste autoclave is designed to process hospital waste and is located in an autoclave chamber above an internal trolley to avoid exposing users to biological risks while maintaining high air quality in the surrounding work space. With a compact unit design, it reduces the carbon footprint and requires less installation space. Medical waste sterilizer combines the initial sterilisation stage with the application of a deep vacuum removes any traces of air from the load, thus preventing cold spots and incomplete sterilisation.

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The future of healthcare waste disposal is to change the way we think about ‘waste’. As autoclaves become the method of choice, we are not only looking for cleaner methods of disposal, we are also converting ‘waste’ into efficient, clean energy. Soon, facilities like hospitals will be able to be powered by the waste they produce. These technologies have the potential to significantly reduce the environmental impact of medical waste disposal, while disposing of waste in a safe and efficient manner, while creating a sustainable energy source.

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