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Tom Sharon
Zero tolerance for a droplet of hazardous body waste


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Hazardous Body Waste

In a hospital, there are many hazardous biological materials. Human excrement and body fluids do not always go down the toilet. Hospital personnel often find feces, urine, blood, mucus, vomit, and bile in the beds and on the furniture and floors. Such substances, if left in place for any length of time, will contaminate the environment.

It only takes a minuscule droplet to carry a load of potentially deadly microorganisms to an open wound or to a patient with a weakened immune system. Such droplets are so small that a person would never know that they were on his or her skin. Therefore, the hospital must maintain a quick response program to clean up filth. There must be zero tolerance for any delays. Nurses must immediately cleanse their patients and call housekeeping to wipe down the furniture and the floor with antiseptic solutions. If you experience any waiting after noticing any body waste, you should contact the executive officers. If the situation happens in the evening, on a holiday, or over the weekend, then call the nursing supervisor and complain. If that does not resolve the problem, you can demand that the nursing supervisor page the on-call administrator, who, in turn will call the housekeeping manager. In most hospitals today, department heads have twenty-four-hour responsibility. If no one is cleaning up a biohazard spill, then the housekeeping boss must go to the hospital and get the job done.

Additionally, hospitals must require their personnel to dispose of used needles and syringes in special containers. Since they are only human and sometimes overlook this, you can help yourself or your loved one by checking the bed and the bedside stand for any remaining hazardous waste after each procedure. If you find an exposed needle or some other contaminated device, immediately report it to a nursing supervisor. Do not attempt to discard it yourself. Such an occurrence is a serious incident. If you withhold the report because you want to be "nice," you will prevent the administration from making the responsible person account for his or her negligence.

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