Biomedical Waste

In South Bangalore, biomedical waste was dumped at Anjanapura layout on Anjanapura Main Road connecting with Kanakapura Road on 2nd November 2008. Based on the hospital records and documentation found with the biomedical waste it was concluded that it had been dumped by M/s Apollo Hospital and M/s Wockhardt Hospital, two of the biggest hospitals in the city. The waste consisted of towels soiled with blood, rotting human organs, gloves, sharp objects, syringes, vials, blood smeared tissues, blood samples, and also hospital reports and investigation slips of patients. (see pictures) Some of the investigation slips also contained information of patients with request to perform specific biochemical tests including the name of the patient, age and sex and other patient details which was mixed with normal food and other canteen waste.

Animals like dogs, cows, buffaloes and goats were found feeding off the dumped biomedical waste. (see pictures) The place where the waste was dumped has three schools and a mosque in close vicinity and surrounded by residential neighbourhood with children and people walking through the stretch regularly.

A police complaint of the act was made. Since the waste was a mixture of non hazardous canteen waste and hazardous biomedical wastes, M/s Apollo Hospital was advised to collect and dispose the waste dumped as per the Biomedical (Management and Handling) Rules, 1998. It was however observed the next day that workers who came to collect the waste were doing so without any protective gear.

Proper handling and management of Biomedical Wastes demands segregation as a first step. However, even more important is that Biomedical waste should not be mixed with normal garbage as doing so would make even normal garbage which can be dumped in a landfill without any pre-treatment hazardous in nature. The waste observed in this case was a mixture of hazardous biomedical waste and canteen wastes and confidential patient information like investigation slips and hospital reports. The hospitals have thus not only violated the rules for proper handling and management of biomedical wastes but have also foregone the medical ethics, by posing a threat to health of people living around the area where it was dumped and randomly throwing confidential patient information without shredding such personal information.

 

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