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Placenta Waste In Hospitals and At Home

How to dispose of medical waste such as the placenta after birth.

Medical waste includes everything from lab cultures and stocks to donated blood to tissue excised for testing or to remove disease.  Anatomical waste is a specific kind of medical waste, and has specific disposal rules that come with it.  Some of this waste, such as the placenta from healthy mothers or expired blood may not be infectious, but unless it status is known, it is treated as though it were.

Many providers supply special containers for placenta disposal to allow safe containment and transport to a disposal point.  Incineration is the usual process.  If stored in a freezer, several pharmaceutical companies will collect these for research.

Disposal of Placenta in a Hospital Setting

Hospitals treat placentas as medical waste or biohazard material. The newborn placenta is placed in a biohazard bag for storage.  Some hospitals keep the placenta for a period of time in case the need arises to send it to pathology for further analysis.  Once the hospital is done with the placenta, it is put on a truck with all the other medical waste accumulated at the hospital for proper disposal.  In some hospitals, placentas are incinerated on site.

Disposal of Placenta At Home Births

Medical professionals tending to an at-home birth need to make a plan ahead of time with proper placenta disposal.  Your plan for disposal of medical waste and contaminated items should be written clearly and in accordance with local laws.  Medical waste disposal companies can help; the company may ask that you purchase a medical waste bag and a sharps bucket to contain your medical waste until it can be picked up. If so, they can instruct you on the proper way to bag and seal the placenta.

Have questions about placenta disposal? The experts at Red Bags can help you safely dispose of it in a manner that is compliant and in accordance with all medical waste laws.

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