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Archive June 2005 VI, No. 6

What's at Your Disposal?

Flushing Out the Essentials of Fluid Disposal Systems

Daniel Cook

Daniel Cook, Editor-in-Chief

BIO

Before Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis could open its 28 new ORs in January, Diane Desmond, RN, had to figure out where all the fluid waste from an estimated 16,000 surgeries would go after it was sucked, soaked or swept from the surgical field.

She looked at safety issues and the cost of the products available to judge whether her hospital could implement and support the system on a facility-wide basis. With a growing wad of red tape wrapped around red bag waste, she also considered government regulations (see "Government Rule" on page 80) and ecological concerns of filling up landfills with processed suction canisters.

Ultimately, Ms. Desmond decided to purchase a closed system that disposes of fluid waste into the sewer with little or no employee-exposure risks. That was the right decision for her hospital, she says, but the choices available to you are plenty. Here's what to keep in mind when deciding on the best fluid disposal system for your facility.

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