The incorrect disposal of solid residues inside an operation room: an environmental, economic, and social problem
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Patricio, Karina Pavão [UNESP]
Amorim, Alefe Rebouças [UNESP]
Borges, Beatriz Zanelato Rueda [UNESP]
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The overproduction of waste in our population is a serious social problem. In the health system, this is even more worrisome as the risks are aggravated by dangerous residues which need complex management. The lack of information and training of health professionals and managers, cleaning staff and patients regarding these residues may even result in occupational health, impact the environment, and result in considerable economical costs. In this work, the generation process of health care waste in an Operation Room (OR) of a large hospital was investigated, analyzing weights and costs, through in-loco observation of the operation row to investigate how the disposal is done and unveil the weak points in the process. During 4 months, 55 surgical procedures were observed and the residues generated in 1,498 procedures were weighted, of which 92% were disposed of as infectious waste. Among the factors that favored incorrect disposal, the following stand out: room size and disposal of trash cans for common and infectious waste. Here we highlight the need for ongoing training and environmental education, and the need to incorporate social-environmental values into the healthcare waste management routine, as well as the promotion of sustainable actions in the hospital leading to environmental, social, and economic sustainability.
environmental health, healthcare waste, operation room, recycling collection, solid waste
Engenharia Sanitaria e Ambiental, v. 27, n. 3, p. 617-623, 2022.