National Blood Donor Month: Medical Waste Management at the Blood Bank

It’s National Blood Donor Month! Did you know that blood banks are required to follow a stringent set of rules when it comes to collecting, storing, and removing blood from their facilities?  Read on to learn more about safe blood bank medical waste management.

Did you know that National Blood Donor Month has been observed in January since 1970? The reason the first month of the year was chosen to highlight this life saving act is to increase blood and platelet donations during winter, of which there are few.

Here at Red Bags, our focus has always been on safe and compliant medical waste removal, and that includes servicing blood banks. Blood banks of course deal with lots of blood; there is the initial scan, then the sample is run through a centrifuge to separate the transfusable components, platelets are tested for bacteria, and tubes are sent for testing. Several tests are performed on each unit of donated blood to establish the blood type and test for disease.

Blood banks are required to follow a stringent set of rules when it comes to collecting, storing, and removing blood from their facilities. All blood centers nationwide are monitored under the regulatory guidance of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

If you’ve ever donated blood, then you know that the procedure entails an initial exam which requires a small blood test. This simple procedure produces medical waste in the form of a sharp that has come into contact with blood, which is considered regulated medical waste. Of course, once a volunteer has been given the all clear to donate, there are needles, tubes, catheters, collection bags – all of which will deal with a bodily fluid and need proper handling and disposal.

The FDA recommends a two-step process for disposing of sharps. After use, sharps should be placed in a sharps container immediately so that there is no risk to staff or patients. Facilities should then rely on a certified medical waste removal company, like Red Bags, to deal with the sharps and medical waste that has been produced.

Blood tubes require different disposal since the potential for breakage exists with these materials. A puncture-resistant container is necessary, of which can be acquired through Red Bags directly.

Standards for collection and safety include:

  • Per OSHA, unauthorized persons may not wander through an area where blood is being drawn, therefore, the traffic flow of the facility, especially mobile sites, must be properly monitored and controlled.
  • Needles must be disposed of in a container designed to prevent accidental puncturing of personnel, such as a sharps container. If contaminated waste is disposed of by a contract waste disposal firm, a contracted agreement should be on file at the facility. All blood contaminated waste should be autoclaved.
  • Blood bank personnel should be familiar with applicable regulations related to their respective tasks.

Red Bags simplifies blood bank medical waste management and regulatory compliance needs. Our goal is to help remove the complexity from medical waste management so that organizations can focus on collecting life-saving blood and keeping donors and staff safe and healthy.

Blood Bank Medical Waste

Service Areas: Long Island Medical Waste; New York City Medical Waste; Westchester Medical Waste and more!