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Prescriptions and Pill Bottles

You need to destroy and dispose prescription bottles contact us

Pharmacies carry a lot of sensitive information in their computers just like medical offices. There you can find name, date of birth, address, insurance information, and of course a list of medications of every patient that fills a prescription at a pharmacy. Once filled, a lot of that information is printed right on the bottle: usually the person’s date of birth, address, and other prescribing information.

The issue becomes dealing with not only the information printed on the pill bottles and accompanying handouts, but the drugs themselves. And this is for pharmacists, hospitals, and other medical organizations that are governed by HIPAA laws. As a source of personal information, the bottles and any labels must be destroyed in a compliant manner. Destroying any drugs that they may contain is covered by separate rules in each state.

Pharmacies are a source for community members to bring unwanted or expired medications for proper disposal. Unused pharmaceuticals are a hazard for abuse and are a threat to the environment if disposed of improperly. At most pharmacies, take-back programs allow individuals to drop off old medications, which are often disposed of in accordance with the law. This includes incineration.

It is up to pharmacies and patients to securely and safely destroy the information as far as empty pill bottles and printed handouts. There are medical providers that have special machinery for pill bottle shredding so long as they still carry a label on them.

The easiest way to secure your information before destroying an empty pill bottle is to remove the label.  The recommendation is to use a permanent marker on them, or scratch off your name and prescription number. Identity thieves can use this information in a number of ways if they get the information off a pill bottle in your trash.

Our company can offer assistance with its mobile shredding solutions if you are a healthcare professional that is concerned with pill bottle shredding, our sister company. We can handle all types of HIPAA compliance issues, from printed documents to electronic devices to destroying patient data. Glycon LLC can assist with any unused or expired medication as well. Patients can leave their printed handouts and pill bottles in a shred bin to be securely destroyed during a one-time visit.

Let us be your one-stop solution if you have prescription bottles, medications, or any other materials you need to destroy properly.

Red Bag Waste

Before we discussed why medical facilities use red bags for biohazardous waste. Red bags are one of the allowed means for control of medical waste. What goes in them is not the same as what goes in a sharps container or other medical waste bins. It is also known as regulated medical waste and biohazardous waste. Red bag waste is biohazardous, or waste that is hypothetically infectious.

What Goes In That Red Bag?

Red bag waste had contact with a probable infectious agent and must be disposed of in a red biohazard waste bag. This embraces:

  • gauze
  • table paper
  • objects containing dried blood or other fluids
  • blood soaked items
  • bandages
  • gloves, gowns, intravenous bags
  • personal protective equipment
  • soft plastic items
  • specimen cups

Red bag cannot go into the regular trash when it is ready for disposal.

A waste management company that specializes in regulated medical waste will take the waste off site and destroy the potential for damage from it. This waste is contaminated by potentially infectious materials, it needs to be destroyed through an autoclave. All regulated medical waste is placed inside for about one hour to destroy any harmful materials. An autoclave is like an oven that is to about 300 degrees.

After, the waste is ready to go to a landfill. This type of waste is sent to an incinerator in other cases.

OSHA, it is the employer’s responsibility to determine the existence of medical waste, and to ensure that it is using proper packaging, such as red bags for biohazardous waste.

Contact us for more information about what constitutes this kind of waste, how to properly dispose of it, or how to select a reputable medical waste management company.

Red Bags

Many institutions impose guidelines in using red bags for the management and removal of medical waste. Health care facilities use many receptacles and collection methods for medical waste and disposal. However each have their own purpose and are all exclusive of one another. This is because of the health and environmental risks associated with the different types of medical waste.

One type of collection method is a red bag, known as “red bag waste.” A red bag is a red plastic bag, but it is only used for the disposal of non-sharp and potentially infectious biohazardous waste.

Specialists never dispose red medical waste bags of or municipal or city waste collectors never collect them. Only licensed medical waste contractors can collect and dispose of filled red bags.

Why Are They Red?

According to OSHA that biohazardous bags must only contain the biohazard symbol and should be “fluorescent orange or orange-red with lettering and symbols in a contrasting color.”

The reason you may find red bags more commonly is because red is often related to danger. Healthcare staff must be able to identify very fast which container to put waste in, and red is a color that stands out.

California and some other states actually require using red bags only.

Red bags are a visible warning to staff and patients, as well as disposal professionals. Red color shows that the contents must be handled with extra caution. Red bag waste contains substances that can cause infection and illness if handled improperly.

What Wastes are Not Medical Wastes?

Medical waste segregation deals with sharps waste, red bag waste, and general hazardous waste. It is not only good practice to do segregation and using properly marked containers. Furthermore it’s economical and leads to less waste. There is a gray area of what’s not, and it essentially comes down to a few checkpoints while there are many evidences of what’s considered regulated medical waste under these categories,–

Volume.

Volume is a big factor in determining what’s considered regulated medical waste In New York. Facilities that generate a small amount of medical waste are exempt from RMW regulation.

Amount.

Wipes, medical gowns, gloves, and other types of personal protective equipment tend to have trace amounts of medical waste on them. However it’s not enough to be considered actual medical waste.  The list can include bed linens, sheets, and towels as well.

At-Home Medical Waste.

Some stuffs are not medical waste such as bloodied tissues, bandages, that washcloth you used to cover up a laceration, while technically a potential contaminant. We can throw them in the regular trash with no need for governance or regulation. When it comes to disposal of needles those who use sharps at home should use the proper care and precaution as safety. So prevention is necessary despite not being regulated within the home.

The process of segregating wastes into the right categories can greatly reduce the volume of what’s considered regulated medical waste. You wouldn’t put paper trash into red bag waste, nor would you put sharps in a trash receptacle. In these situations, you’re either paying for unnecessary services or violating regulations, thereby costing more in fines and penalties, but how can you be sure what goes where if there are some gray areas?

To make sure you’re compliant your best course of action is to work with a certified, responsible hauler. Our company will help your facility customize a waste removal plan that adheres to your needs. Choosing a medical waste disposal company means looking for a company that strictly adheres to compliance policies and provides reliable services at affordable rates. We have a highly trained staff that is properly equipped for medical waste removal so you can focus on keeping your home, your offices, and your communities healthy.

Advantages of Modern Medical Waste Removal

We Have Many Reasons To Be Grateful For Modern Medical Waste Regulations And Management.

Many laws control modern medical waste removal. So most take for granted just how long it take us to arrive at safe and effective medical waste management processes.

Medical waste removal became a hot issue sometime in the late 1980s. Beaches were with disposed syringes, medications, and other healthcare-related waste. Laws such as the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and Medical Waste Tracking Act (MWTA) of 1988 further advanced the Solid Waste Disposal Act. With modern technologies as microwave units, incinerators and autoclaves and various chemical systems, we are healthier and better for it. The same goes for our environment.

We should be grateful for the laws and governing bodies to help deal with our medical waste. There are just a few reasons why.

Better Labeling Means Better Safety

Many states categorize waste into sub-categorizes. There are cultures and stocks, human blood, blood products, sharps, and animal waste. Containers are not only mandated by law while keeping types of medical waste separate and using properly marked. It helps you choose how and when, not to mention whom removes the waste for you.

Better Infection Control

These programs help facilities make infection control plans. It includes proper containers and signage, access to the right cleaning supplies, and the latest in personal protective equipment. With laws come infection control programs that help identify and reduce risks of infections in patients and healthcare workers.

Better Sharps Management

Sharp is actually the medical term for a sharp-pointed object that can cut or puncture the skin. It includes needles, syringes, auto-injectors, lancets, and connection needles. We have a stringent set of guidelines and laws on how to deal with sharps waste Under the FDA.

Sharps disposal guidelines state:

  • We can dispose used sharps in a sharps container
  • We can purchase sharps containers from supply companies
  • Sharps containers must be puncture-proof, rigid and have lids that seal securely

We had to deal with the problem of what to do with the solid waste we generate. We should all be thankful for these advancements.  As technology, science, and public health has evolved, so, too has the knowledge of proper Medical Waste Disposal needs, and for public health and safety reasons.

Fluid Medical Waste Disposal Options and Best Practices

As a California medical waste removal company, we are aware that managing liquid waste in a medical facility poses many challenges. You have to worry about containment of the liquid, safety of your staff, and also your growing expenses. GLYCON LLC would like to provide a brief overview of different methods used today for Medical Waste Collection and Medical Waste Disposal of liquid medical waste, as well as the best industry practices.

Types of Fluids: There exist many types of fluids requiring special disposal procedures.

You  may encounter the following taking into account your medical practice :

Blood, Spinal fluids, Saliva (especially in dental practices), Dialysis waste, Amniotic fluids, Other bodily secretions and fluids, Lab cultures and specimen, Medications, such as chemotherapy drugs.

These fluids may be generated in numerous areas in your facility, which is where you will need to establish the collection process. It is easier to spill fluid medical waste and is more difficult to completely clean up. But when you collect it at the point of generation, it’s much more manageable. Whether it’s the operating suite, the lab or the ER, your employees should know the procedures and have the tools to dispose of fluid waste fast and efficiently.

Regulated Medical Waste

Most types of fluid waste fall under regulated medical waste category. Blood and other bodily fluids are often considered biohazardous or infectious waste, as they may be contaminated with hepatitis B, HIV and other dangerous pathogens and viruses. Some other fluids, such as certain medications and chemotherapy drugs may be classified as RCRA hazardous waste and will require different disposal procedures. Make sure your employees can identify the type of waste they are dealing with and apply proper collection and disposal guidelines practiced by your facility.

Collection of Liquid Waste

Liquid medical waste is collected into a suction canister at the point of origin. Liquid may, sometimes, saturate other items, like gauze or PPE, or materials used to clean up a spill. This waste, although technically not liquid, has a potential to release the liquid when compressed, which means special care should be taken when it comes to packaging.

Liquid medical waste must be placed in containers which can be cloed and are specifically designed to contain the liquid and prevent leaks. The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has determined packaging regulations that apply to transportation of regulated medical waste, including liquid waste. DOT requires for potentially infectious liquid waste to be packaged in several layers. For certain types of waste, such as Category A waste, there has to be an absorbent material between the inner receptacle and the outer packaging in case of a spill.

Disposal of Fluid Medical Waste

There are several methods of liquid waste disposal that are used by medical facilities throughout the U.S:

Solidifying: In case of adding a solidifying agent to liquid waste you will have the opportunity to lower the risk of spills. The solidified liquid can then be packaged into the red bag (if it’s a biohazard) and disposed of as red-bag waste. If there is disinfectant in the solidifying agent, it may be possible to dispose of the waste as non-regulated medical waste, which costs less than red-bagging it.

Fluid Waste Management Systems: Fluid waste management systems can be integrated with your facility’s sewer system so as to collect and dispose of fluid waste at the same time. A suction tube can be used to transport every last drop of the liquid into the sewer for disinfection and disposal. These suction stations can be built into operating rooms or placed throughout your facility where they are most required. They can even be mobile, rolled around from room to room and then to the disposal station.

However, in order to make sure that t fluid medical waste is allowed to be poured in the sewer check with your local regulations and wastewater treatment facility.

What NOT to Do

It used to be a common practice to place suction containers with the waste liquid into the red biohazard bags. The problem with this approach is that it can get really expensive. Primarily, not the whole liquid waste qualifies as biohazardous, and therefore doesn’t have to go into the red bag. Next, this prevents your facility from reusing the suction canisters, which leads to additional expenses.

Don’t Pour Down the Drain

It can be dangerous to pour liquid waste down the drain, because when a liquid is poured there may occur splashing and aerosolization may occur when a liquid is poured. The employee performing this job may be put at risk of both coming in contact with biological pathogens and spreading them.

In case of having questions about liquid medical waste disposal? Please, contact our experts at GLYCON LLC and we’ll be glad to recommend you which containers to use and which federal and state regulations apply to your facility.