Biological Waste Disposal Is No Laughing MatterMarch 5th, 2012 | Posted by in Health | Medicine | Safety | Sanitation | Waste Removal
Recently a family member had their appendix taken out. It was a worrisome event. Turns out the appendix had ruptured and even a minute longer between when that occurred and when it was removed might have been deadly. Once we knew that the family member was healthy we were able to be a little reflexive and revel in some gallows humor.
We asked if we could take the ruptured appendix home and put it on display. A sick joke yes but one we actually proposed to nurses and the surgeon responsible for the procedure. While we did not think the doctor would willingly let us leave the hospital with the body part in a jar we also did not expect him to give us a very stern and serious response about the need for safe biological waste disposal. Medical facilities he explained have a serious responsibility to their patients and to the environment at large to unload their waste in a way that is incredibly focused and secure.
Truth is in a medical situation it becomes unclear what actually qualifies for hazardous waste disposal and as a result nearly everything is treated as potentially dangerous. Given the surgeons grave tone and my own knowledge of the need to prevent hazardous material from getting out there I am pretty glad this is the case.