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WHAT’S IN YOUR RED BAG?

Many people have seen the red bag for medical waste or the red bag containers in their doctor’s office as they sit and wait for the doctor to come into the room. Some patients may even be guilty of spitting their gum into the red container labeled “biohazard”. While tossing in a piece of gum or a used tissue may not seem like a big deal, it can make a difference in the bottom line of the facility if every patient tossed in something similar each day.

Here are a few tips for helping employees and patients learn more about what goes into the red bags and red bag containers and how it could save your facility money.

WHAT IS RED BAG MEDICAL WASTE?
As mentioned above, red bags and red biomedical waste disposal containers can be found in almost every doctor’s office, hospital room, dental office, vet clinic, and more. This is due to the fact that not everything can be tossed into a regular trash bag headed for the local landfill. When it comes to regulated medical waste, there are several steps that have to be taken before the waste is suitable for the landfill.

It all begins by placing red bag waste into the proper red bag containers. Red bag waste is any type of waste that is considered to be potentially infectious. Examples of biohazardous waste include:

- contaminated sharps (needles, syringes, scalpels)
- gloves covered in blood
- gowns covered in blood
- blood-soaked bandages

HOW TO REDUCE WHAT GOES INTO RED BAGS AND OTHER BIO WASTE CONTAINERS
There is no doubt that medical facilities create a lot of red bag waste. However, with so many rules and regulations surrounding medical waste and what can and cannot be thrown into a regular trash container, things can be confusing and stressful. There are a few things that can be done to reduce the confusion and reduce your red bag medical waste.

TRAINING
Employees come from different backgrounds. Some have worked in fields where there is regulated medical waste while others have never had to separate what is tossed in the trash can. And even if employees do have a history of working in the medical field, it doesn’t guarantee that the employees were trained properly. They may have been told to toss everything in the red bags and red containers.

This is why it is so important to train ALL of your staff on what is expected in your facility. You can call once a month training or hold informal trainings in small groups. A quick 10-15 minute session can make a huge difference in your medical waste management. At ManageMed, we offer online OSHA compliance training to help your employees learn about workplace safety which also helps with your overall medical waste management.

SIGNS
Those who don’t work in the medical field or in an office where there is red bag waste may not understand why their doctor’s office has three different trash containers in the examination room. Even when containers are a different color or labeled, patients still seem to put regular trash items where they don’t belong.

One thing that could help employees and patients is placing a sign above red waste containers. Signs should use both words and other visuals to help get the message across. You can find signs and posters online, talk to your medical waste disposal company, or create one yourself. This will greatly reduce the amount of waste that doesn’t belong in the red bags.

AUDIT RED BIOHAZARD BAGS AND OTHER WASTE DISPOSAL CONTAINERS
If you don’t see a change in the amount of medical waste your facility is disposing of, then the next step would be to perform an audit of the red biohazard bags and containers. Look to see if there are items that shouldn’t be in there like an employee’s soda can or leftover lunch. Then talk with your employees to see why these items are ending up in the red bag waste containers. You may discover that the employee was never trained or that there were no other trash bins available.

LET MANAGEMED SAVE YOU MONEY
Not only can an experienced medical waste disposal company like ManageMed help relieve some of the stress involved with handling regulated medical waste, but we can save you money. When you combine our already affordable services with our OSHA compliant training, your employees will have the skills they need to create a safer work environment. This helps to reduce your overall biomedical waste and keep your facility compliant.

We offer flexible service throughout the United States. Whether you need biomedical waste disposal in North Carolina or biomedical waste disposal in California, ManageMed is here to help. Give us a call today at 844-383-8933 to get started. 



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