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Revista Española de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 1135-5727

Abstract

LLORENTE ALVAREZ, Susana; ARCOS GONZALEZ, Pedro  and  GONZALEZ ESTRADA, Rafael. Evaluation of the hospital management of sanitary waste in the Principality of Asturias. Rev. Esp. Salud Publica [online]. 1997, vol.71, n.2, pp. 189-199. ISSN 1135-5727.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1135-57271997000200010.

BACKGROUND: With the object of evaluating the management of sanitary waste of 12 publicly funded Asturian hospitals, a visit was paid to the hospital services, particularly significant as regards the generation of waste (a total of 91 services). The evaluated hospitals represent 75,10% of the total hospital beds in the Principality. METHODS: Interviews with personnel from 91 different services were undertaken, always by the same interviewer, and according to the rules of the Joint Commission of Health Care Organizations. The information obtained was afterwards verified by the interviewer by means of direct observation. RESULTS: Amongst the most relevant results, the absence of adequate containers for "clinical" waste in 28,5% of the services visited, stands out. Into the bargain, 82,4% of the services classify this type of waste incorrectly. The percentage of incorrect classification is 1,1% for "special" waste. In large hospitals (with over 300 beds), 60% of the services have information on the handling of waste, but only 40% of these hospitals have adequate supervision over the management of waste by the Service of Preventive Medicine or another equivalent service. CONCLUSIONS: The level of incorrect classification of sanitary waste which has been discovered suggests that, in order to improve the intra-hospital management of waste, it is necessary to increase the amount of information, modify certain attitudes of the hospital staff and reinforce the level of supervision executed by the Services of Preventive Medicine.

Keywords : Sanitary Waste; Evaluation; Hospital. Prevention; Health professionals.

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