Healthcare waste management in a Brazilian university public hospital.

Research paper by Elci de Souza ES Santos, Karla Magna Dos Santos KMDS Gonçalves, Marcos Paulo Gomes MPG Mol

Indexed on: 20 Dec '18Published on: 20 Dec '18Published in: Waste Management and Research


Some healthcare waste presents hazardousness characteristics and requires specific procedures to ensure the safety management. Waste segregation is an important action to control the risks of each type of waste. Healthcare waste indicators also may improve the waste management system. The aim of this article was to evaluate the healthcare waste management in a Brazilian university hospital, as well as the waste indicators, quantifying and qualifying the waste generation. Weighing of wastes occurred by sampling occurred sampling of seven consecutive days or daily, between 2011 and 2017. General wastes represent more than 55.6% of the total generated, followed by infectious, sharps and chemicals wastes, respectively, 39.1%, 2.9% and 2.4%. The generation rate in 2017 was 4.09 kg bed day, including all types of wastes. Non-dangerous wastes represented around 93.3%, including infectious wastes with low potential risks, while dangerous was represented by high infectious risk (1.4%), chemicals (2.4%) and sharps (2.9%). Healthcare waste indicators may favour the risk identification and improve the waste management system, in particular when involving hazardous wastes. Failures in healthcare waste segregation could represent, in addition to the health risks, unnecessary expenses.