Medical Waste: Hospital Homicide

1200 Words5 Pages
Imagine that you’ve just come indoors to cool off after a long day’s work mowing the lawn at a nearby veterinary clinic. You go to the kitchen sink, get a glass of ice water, sit down in front of the television for some rest and relaxation, and soon fall asleep. Hours later you awake from your pleasant nap and notice that you’re feeling a bit dazed. You try and open your blurry eyes but your vision seems to be skewed. Thinking that you must still be tired from your dozing, you stand up and begin to stretch yourself out. Upon standing, you feel a sudden dizziness, and you begin to feel a numbing, tingling sensation throughout your body. Your arms and legs begin to break out into a rash. Your vision narrows, and you start to black out.1 You try with futility to phone an ambulance, but your fingers cannot move to the correct buttons. You soon come to realize the hopelessness of your situation. You realize that if help doesn’t come soon, you may die. What you do not realize, however, is that the water you drank hours before was contaminated with mercury from an improperly disposed veterinary thermometer. What you do not realize is that you have been overcome by one of the most silent and elusive killers of our century. Water contamination has long been part of our society and springs from many different foundations. Perhaps the most overlooked of all of these, however, is medical waste contamination. To look more closely at this problem, we must first establish a definition for medical waste itself. Specifically, medical waste (often known as clinical waste) refers to waste products that cannot be considered general waste. These wastes are usually produced in hospitals or other healthcare premises.2 Medical waste generally consists of; tissue, blood, bodily fluids, excretions, pharmaceutical products, bloody bandages, scalpels and needles.3 While it may appear

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