Hospitals told to use autoclaving

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita July 28,2015 - 01:32 AM

AN international environmental expert is encouraging hospitals, medical laboratories and facilities to adopt non-burn technologies in disposing of medical and hazardous wastes like autoclaving.

“Standard autoclaving is one of the cheapest alternative waste treatment technologies that employs steam to disinfect medical wastes.

Unlike burn technologies such as incineration, it does not produce toxic substances like dioxins and furans that are  hazardous to people’s health,”  said Dr. Jorge Emmanuel, former chief technical advisor on healthcare waste for the United National Development Program (UNDP).

Perpetual Succour Hospital and Cebu Doctors’ Hospital are among the facilities in Cebu that  use autoclaving.

Autoclaving involves a steaming process similar to sterilization but made to adapt to medical wastes as subjects.

The wastes are placed in an enclosed metal chamber with different sizes and capacities.

After being steamed for some time, the microbes from the medical wastes will have been killed and it can be recycled for other uses.

Emmanuel was the guest speaker during yesterday’s Forum on Healthcare Waste Management and Non-Incineration Technologies at the Cebu City Hall’s Social Hall which was attended by representatives from hospitals, medical clinics and laboratories, funeral parlors and birthing centers.

Aside from autoclaving, Emmanuel also underscored the need for hospital and medical institutions to strictly enforce proper waste segregation so that infectious wastes, which is only around 15 percent of a hospital’s total waste, can be reduced.

Infectious wastes include contaminated syringes, cotton balls and bandages, among others.

Emmanuel also explained that while there are national laws that regulate emission of toxins into the environment from incineration and burning of wastes, he said the government is not equipped to regularly monitor dioxin and other toxic levels in the environment.

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TAGS: Cebu, Cebu City, Cebu City hall, Cebu Doctors Hospital, Dr. Jorge Emmanuel, Healthcare Waste Management, Non-Incineration Technologies, Perpetual Succour Hospital, UNDP, United National Development Program

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