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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 207-213

COVID-19 Biomedical Waste Management Practices among Medical Professionals in a Tertiary Hospital: Need for Safe and Sustainable Methods

1 Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India
2 Department of Surgery, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India
3 Department of Blood Bank & Transfusion Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India

Correspondence Address:
Lovenish Bains
Associate Professor, Department of Surgery, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mamcjms.mamcjms_60_22

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Context: The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that began in 2019 has affected more than 232 million people around the world with over 4.7 million deaths as on September 30, 2021. Amidst the crisis, there has been increased generation of biomedical-waste (BMW). In April 2021, a 62% rise was observed compared to 123 metric tonnes of waste generated in February 2021. The hospital waste mismanagement has diverse ramifications as it affects the patients, healthcare workers (HCWs), public, environment, and economy. Proper BMW management aims to reduce generation, ensures efficient collection, handling and safe disposal so that it controls infection and improves safety. Aims: The present study was conducted to assess the knowledge among medical professionals regarding BMW segregation, transport, and treatment. Settings, Design, Methods, and Materials: A google formed based survey was done to assess the knowledge regarding management of COVID-19 BMW among HCWs (MBBS students, residents, and consultants) associated with tertiary care hospitals of North India. Results: The knowledge score was : for segregation − 27.4%, 59.6%, and 49.8%; transport from site of generation to site of disposal − 63.6%, 89.1%, and 95.2%; disposal − 29%, 71.9%, and 68.2%; overall score − 41.4%, 67.9%, and 61.3% among the students, residents, and consultants respectively. We found that participants with greater years of experience (residents and consultants) had better knowledge as compared to that of the students (P = 0.032). Conclusion: We found a mean score of 56.9% which is more than that of few low- and middle-income countries but less than that of European countries. The chances of infection directly correlate with lower knowledge score. Appropriate evidence-based, judicious use of PPE as per the settings and guidelines should be followed. Training aspects, periodic evaluation, and assessment should be strengthened, both for practising medical professionals and for students, to ensure a safe and sustainable healthcare system.

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