Fast Five Quiz: Medical Waste Management

Richard S. Tennant, MD


September 16, 2019

Effective medical waste management is critical to prevent and control the spread of infectious disease and to protect healthcare workers, patients, support staff, and the overall community from the lethal effects and injuries that can result from improperly discarded waste. Environmental contamination is also a concern. Medical waste encompasses a wide array of materials that includes used needles and syringes, soiled dressings, body parts, diagnostic samples, blood, chemicals, pharmaceutical agents (including cytotoxic agents), medical devices, and radioactive materials. About 15% of the waste generated by healthcare activities is considered hazardous—that is, it may be infectious, toxic, or radioactive.

How much do you know about the proper handling and disposal of medical waste? Test your knowledge with this short quiz.


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