Hospital applies for medical waste handling permit
War Memorial Hospital is applying for a permit to build and operate an infectious medical waste management facility at the new hospital site.
The permit is for constructing a secure and controlled area to store medical waste inside the new hospital until it can be picked up by their current contractor, Sci-Med Waste Systems of Roanoke, Virginia, said War Memorial Hospital President Neil McLaughlin.
Their contractor picks up the medical waste from a secured area
at the current hospital and transports it to a site where it can be disposed of safely and properly, McLaughlin said. They come once a week or every two weeks, depending on the amount of medical waste they have.
The new hospital would have the same arrangements for their contractor to transport the waste from their temporary storage area to the company’s safe disposal location.
Whenever the hospital changes location or companies that handle their medical waste, they have to reapply and go through the medical waste permitting process again, said Lyn Goodwin, War Memorial Hospital community relations director.
The new hospital will be located at 1 Healthy Way off Fairview Drive. Construction is currently underway.
Nature of waste
According to their public notice, the hospital produces an estimated 258 pounds of cultures and stocks of microorganisms, biological and pathological waste, each year as well as 3,187 pounds of blood, blood products and sharps as medical waste annually.
The medical waste includes throat swabs, blood cultures, needles, glass and any items with blood or bodily fluids, McLaughlin said. About 86 pounds of the waste are produced monthly. All materials are handled as specified by their infectious waste management plan.
Separated from the start
The medical waste is separated into different containers from the start and must be controlled from the time it’s created until it disposal, he noted.
Contractors are also required to have their own permits. It may be innocuous material with no infection present but they use universal precautions to protect against the chance that it could be harmful, like a doctor or dentist uses gloves, McLaughlin said.
Public comment period
Public notice of their application was published in last week’s
Morgan Messenger. There is a 30-day public comment period on the project.
Copies of the application are available at the Morgan County Courthouse, the Town of Bath Municipal Office, the Morgan County Public Library and the Office of Environmental Health Services in Charleston.
Any written comments should concisely state issues and be addressed to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources, Infectious Waste Program, Capitol & Washington Streets, 1 Davis Square, Suite 200, Charleston, WVa., 25301-1798.
Comments must be received
within 30 days of publication of the public notice. A public hearing on the project may also be requested within the 30-day public comment window by sending a letter to the DHHR Secretary at the above address.
For more information on the project, call the hospital at 304-258-6526.