News Headlines Article

Another Ebola challenge: Disposing of medical waste
Los Angeles Times

A single Ebola patient treated in a U.S. hospital will generate eight 55-gallon barrels of medical waste each day.

Protective gloves, gowns, masks and booties are donned and doffed by all who approach the patient’s bedside and then discarded. Disposable medical instruments, packaging, bed linens, cups, plates, tissues, towels, pillowcases and anything that is used to clean up after the patient must be thrown away.

Even curtains, privacy screens and mattresses eventually must be treated as contaminated medical waste and disposed of.

Dealing with this collection of pathogen-filled debris without triggering new infections is a legal and logistical challenge for every U.S. hospital now preparing for a potential visit by the virus.

In California and other states, it is an even worse waste-management nightmare.

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