Ambulance Medical Waste Disposal Processes

Part of the high-quality emergency care provided by ambulances requires a safe and clean environment.

Emergency Medical Response (EMS) crews and the ambulances they ride in play a very important role in care during medical situations. They are usually the first on the scene in accidents and other catastrophes. Because of the nature of the work involved in an ambulance, speed and accuracy while tending to injuries is critical. The other important factor in these unpredictable situations is that all staff onboard be trained in proper use and disposal of the ambulance medical waste that is generated.

From cotton swabs and gauze to ointment, stents and sanitary cleaners, there is a vast range of ambulance supplies that, after use, have the potential to become infectious and hazardous waste. In particular, if they have become soiled with blood, pharmaceuticals or other dangerous matter.

Did you know different levels of EMS training are required to treat patients at the scene? For example, hazmat situations require specific training and sometimes EMS will have to treat patients only after they’ve been moved away from the dangerous scene.

Ambulance Medical Waste Disposal

The out-of-hospital treatment setting can be tricky to navigate. Part of the high-quality out-of-hospital emergency care provided by ambulances requires that a safe and clean environment is kept. Potentially hazardous ambulance medical waste should be properly stored and disposed of. Use of properly labeled and segregated waste containers and an understanding of where trash should go is an important step in protecting the public.

Emergency personnel treat more than 20 millions patients a year in the U.S. so understanding how to best treat patients in the moment of need without exposing anyone to harm is critical. Part of the OSHA requirements for these vehicles is that they are suitable for transportation and include stringent sanitation and safety measures. They must also be staffed with proper crew to handle the emergency situations and all safety equipment and supplies must comply with standards.

Other critical items to have on-board in ambulances include washing and disinfecting equipment and clean, dry areas to store supplies. Most importantly, disposal of waste must happen in an acceptable manner. Waste that is contaminated and mandated for special disposal including needles, drug vials, or soaked materials with blood or bodily fluids must be handled with care. To ensure this happens, working with a medical waste disposal company will ensure ambulance medical waste is safely transported its final destination for destruction.

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