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How do you solve a problem like on-site medical waste treatment?

07.07.2020

Until now, hospitals have almost exclusively opted for off-site solutions for their RMW (Regulated Medical Waste) treatment, as existing on-site solutions have not been good enough.

Most countries still use incinerators, which are giant off-site unsustainable, high energy consumers with dramatically high carbon footprints rather than traditional existing on-site solutions which are based on heat treatment.

The Envomed 80 however, is beginning to change all that. Bringing to market a scientifically-driven, on-site solution capable of treating up to 80 liters of sharps and infectious medical waste in just 15 minutes, the Envomed 80 is starting to revolutionize the world of medical waste treatment.

 

Why is effective medical waste treatment so challenging?

At the root of the problem is the fact that RMW includes both solid and liquid phases and the mix and volume of each varies from batch to batch. This makes the sterilization process impossible to validate.

Liquids present some unique challenges. Liquids take longer to sterilize than other media since they have a high heat capacity. As opposed to solids, liquids take a lot longer to heat up and cool down, and as a result the total cycle time is increased dramatically.

Autoclaves, for example, need to remove all air due to possible hollow spaces inside a load. In the case of solids, steam is the sterilization medium and must penetrate inside the load and make contact with all surfaces, which is why all air must be removed. If air were to remain inside the load that would compromise the steam’s ability to reach all surfaces of the load.

Liquids, which have no hollow spaces, are sterilized as the steam causes their temperature to rise. Therefore, while there is no significance to the chamber air removal where liquids are concerned, they instead require a longer treatment duration to ensure they reach at least 135°C for 20-30 min. Such long durations (>20min) at a peak temperature of 130°-141°C and under pressure cannot be supported by on-site autoclaves.

The fact that the liquid quantity is unpredictable and can vary from batch to batch necessitates a longer sterilization program time. (Not 10-30 min sterilization). Additionally, as autoclaves do not offer a temperature indication of the liquid phase, the user has no real confirmation of the actual liquid phase temperature during the sterilization cycle.

Other problems associated with current treatment solutions such as autoclaves and microwave processes include:

  • Slow cycle time (30-60 minutes)
  • High unit and/or installation costs
  • No validated treatment of the waste liquid phase
  • High energy consumption
  • High maintenance costs
  • Load decomposition that can generate toxic fumes
  • Unpleasant odors
  • Normally require large floor space and a dedicated infrastructure

 

How does the Envomed 80 solve these problems?

The Envomed 80 solves these issues completely, by performing the entire disinfection process in a liquid phase, using a liquid disinfection solution diluted in water.

The solid waste is shredded to a confetti shape which is mixed vigorously with the disinfecting solution together with the waste liquid phase. 

 

Therefore:

  • Liquids pose no problem
  • There is no need to remove the air from the chamber
  • No extreme temperatures, pressure and vacuum are used
  • There is no pause in between cycles – the next cycle may start immediately
  • The Envomed 80 offers fully validated and reproducible sterilization results.

 

Envomed offers fully comprehensive validation results of both infectious waste solids and liquids in the presence of protein, hemoglobin, carbohydrate, lipids and insoluble fibers. Envomed’s technology is the only solution on the market that presents comprehensive validation results by utilizing the real RMW conditions, hospitals and regulation authorities are being challenged with on a daily basis.

The Envomed 80 Sterilization process consistently demonstrates a 6 LOG10/ml bacterial spores’ reduction, which complies with STAATT level IV, according to the ISTAATT guidelines (both in the liquid and solid phases). Currently, the global deployment of the Envomed 80 is gaining momentum as the new benchmark in on-site RMW treatment technology.

 

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