I received the call from a plastic surgeon that had an office in a medical building. They had just been visited by the county’s environmental health services department. The inspection was caused by someone noticing a bunch of bloody gauzes and several vials of medication in the building’s regular garbage dumpster shared by all. This caused an inspection for every facility in the building and that’s when we were contacted (usually too late). But we were still able to mitigate the situation, contact the county, implement our complete compliance service for the facility and avoid hefty fines and penalties.
Potential penalties avoided were estimated at over $25,000.
Do not throw away any bloody gauzes or other items such as gloves, masks, paper towels that are contaminated with blood or Other Potentially Infected Material (OPIM) in ordinary dumpsters. They need to be placed on a designated container lined with a bi-hazard (Red Bag) bag.
Do not throw away any vials of medication that are still partially full or have a biological agent in the vial such as empty vaccine vials. Non biological medication vials that are empty can be thrown in regular garbage containers except dental anesthetic capsules that are considered contaminated because of blood aspiration performed by dental professionals prior to injection of the medication.