why is it important to solidify medical waste?

  • reason one
    safety
  • reason two
    transportation
  • reason three
    cost effectiveness

The fact that transporting solid waste is safer than transporting liquid waste is indisputable.  Transporting solidified waste, whether in-house or off-site, makes this necessary and inevitable process safer for all healthcare facility personnel.


Uncapping a port on a suction canister lid to add a solidifier AFTER the canister is filled with medical waste, risks exposing your staff to aerosolized bloodborne pathogens and spilling the canister contents.  SafeSorb is the only solidifier designed to be added to the canister PRIOR to starting a procedure, vastly reducing the risk of staff exposure to these pathogens.


If the medical waste at your facility is going to be transported offsite for treatment and disposal, the U.S. Department of Transportation requires liquid medical waste to be packaged in accordance with DOT regulations.


The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has drafted regulations pertaining to the transportation of liquid medical waste the Final Rule for Hazardous Materials: Revision to Standards for Infectious Substances, 49 CFR Part 171. These regulations, which became effective in February 2003, directly impact the packaging requirements of suction canisters and liners which will be transported offsite for processing.


This new regulation effectively prohibits the placement of suction canisters and liners in red bags without first placing them in their own rigid packaging (Sections 173.196.a.6 and 173.197.a). If suction liners are solidified with SafeSorb prior to disposal they do not need to be wrapped in absorbent material or placed inside rigid packaging.

Every suction canister must be wrapped with sufficient absorbent material to absorb the entire contents of the canister before placing the canister in a rigid, watertight non-bulk outer packaging (Sections 173.6.a.4, 173.196.a.2, and 173.196.a.4). If suction liners are solidified with SafeSorb prior to disposal they do not need to be wrapped in absorbent material or placed inside rigid packaging.


The differing requirements for liquid and solid regulated medical waste effectively requires facilities to segregate liquid and solid waste. Segregating (liquid) suction canisters can be avoided by first solidifying the suction canister contents with SafeSorb.


Unless the healthcare facility is going to treat medical waste onsite, the waste must be transported off-site to a waste processing facility.  In order to transport the waste it must be prepared in accordance with the DOT regulations outlined in Reason Two, Transportation, or solidified prior to shipment.  It is clearly less expensive, less confusing for the personnel preparing the waste for transport and far simpler to solidify the waste prior to transporting it offsite.


If your facility is considering processing suction canister waste onsite, it is likely that any method you are considering is more expensive and time consuming than solidifying suction canisters with SafeSorb.  We have developed cost analysis programs to compare the cost of solidifying suction canisters with SafeSorb versus using the Dornoch Transposal® Safety Station System, Stryker® Instrument's Neptune® System or using a fluid solidifier/disinfectant.


There is no safer or more cost effective method to dispose of suction canister waste than solidifying the canister contents with SafeSorb.


why is safeSorb superior to all other fluid solidifiers?

SafeSorb has been specially designed to be added to a suction canister PRIOR to starting a procedure.

SafeSorb can be poured into an empty suction canister five minutes or five days before you start the procedure. After you have pre-loaded the canister with SafeSorb, close the lid forever. When the procedure is completed the contents are solidified and the canister is ready for disposal. In addition to SafeSorb continuing to work effectively for extended periods, the fluid level indicated on the graduated lines of the canister will accurately represent the volume of fluid in the canister. All other medical waste fluid solidifiers have to be added to the canister after the procedure is completed, when the canister is full of hazardous, infectious liquid waste. If you use another solidifier, when the procedure is completed, someone must open either the pour spout or a suction tube port on the suction canister lid to introduce the solidifier. The bottle of solidifier is then attached to one of these ports and suction is turned on to draw the solidifier powder out of the bottle and into the suction canister. This process unnecessarily exposes personnel to aerosolized bloodborne pathogens, risks spilling the canister contents and takes additional time to solidify the canister.


Pre-loading SafeSorb into an empty suction canister is safer, takes less time to use and maintains the integrity of a closed suction system.


Note: If a facilities' protocol requires adding a fluid solidifier to the canister at the conclusion of the procedure, SafeSorb can be introduced into the canister in this manner as well.