How to Properly Dispose of a Custom Tray
Receiving and utilizing custom surgical trays are pivotal in creating the best results possible for a healthcare provider and their clientele. But what happens after a surgical or other medical procedure has been administered effectively with the use of custom trays? Your next step is proper disposal. What is the right way? How do you decide? Here’s how:
1. Determine what category/label your used custom tray falls under.
Here are a few broad examples of what various custom trays may contain after use:
- Biohazardous Material- This categorization requires the disposal to be handled with utmost care while utilizing extensive protective gear to ensure that nothing hazardous carried on the tray would cause accidental spreading of potentially harmful matter to other areas or people.
- Domestic Waste- The least threatening of the three options, waste classified as domestic could mean only water was used via the custom tray or other matter considered safe by medical standards.
- Chemical Waste- This classification more specifically caters to custom trays that have held substances that could be damaging to the environment. Biohazardous and non-hazardous components of the chemical variety are filed under this label.
2. Disinfect for Protection.
Custom trays are sterilized before use. But what about after? It can become vitally important in a healthcare setting that is exposed to wide varieties of seemingly harmless yet potentially life-threatening bacteria–to disinfect after use. How do you annihilate the unknown characteristics of infectious diseases that quite possibly could be spread via used custom trays? Protect yourself, employees and those entrusted to your care by choosing the best way to disinfect using these processes:
- Microwave- The non-ionizing radiation the microwave creates can destroy micro-organisms on various medical tool surfaces.
- Utilize Chemical Solutions- Peracetic acid, formaldehyde, and glutaraldehyde are chemical agents used for soaking contaminated materials, to disinfect.
- Try Autoclaving- High-temperature steam omits at high pressures over a set amount of time to bring sterilization to previously used tools. (This method is often used on wrapped medical tools.)
- Use Ethylene Oxide (EtO)- Great for moisture and heat sensitive products that can be made or contain plastic (and do not withstand high temperatures) EtO triggers antimicrobial sterilization, the solution kills all microorganisms ensuring disease spreading prevention!
Decide what disposal method meets eco-friendly and/or user-friendly expectations.
In every situation, it is best to make sure you are following the proper regional and international laws/regulations when disposing of custom trays. Below are some effective “how-to-dispose” processes professionals have used in the past:
- Shredding (when possible) This may not be the best option for the eco-conscious professional but minimizing potentially harmful waste products after use by shredding can at least ensure landfills don’t fill up as quickly.
- Burying- It is best to garner help from a professional waste disposal company when deciding on this type of disposal. Usually used for containment of medical tools that have contained very harmful pathogens or damaging matter, burying might be the best option in those instances.
- Incineration- Still used by many as the safest method to stop hazardous materials from spreading via custom trays, incineration when performed correctly stops the potential for airborne contamination and turns used custom trays to ash instantly.
- Recycling (when possible)- Advocates against incineration claim recycling your custom trays the best environmental solution. This method should be carried out by using a highly-trained third-party recycling specialist. Recycling custom trays is a great solution if you have a trusted/experienced recycling resource at hand. They will properly disinfect the tray for reuse.
If you know in which category your used custom tray fits, proper disposal is simple!