Dialysis Waste Management: How Does It Work?

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Experts believe that the demand for kidney dialysis centers will increase within the next few years. In the United States, at least 37 million people have chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to the National Kidney Foundation. Many of these will eventually need dialysis.

For those who want to be part of the healthcare system, they can open dialysis centers in their county or city. The more they are in the area, the faster and easier it is for these patients to receive the help they need. Proximity to the clinic will also help increase their compliance.

Opening a center, though, needs thorough planning, making sure it meets federal and state guidelines. One of the essential aspects of its design is waste management.

How to Handle Dialysis Waste

To ensure an appropriate waste disposal system, center managers and owners may need to work with a filter plate manufacturing company. Filter plates can help screen particulate matter or segregate the different components of the biological waste.

Clinic teams should also consider the following:

  • State laws – Dialysis waste is biological waste, but the treatment of such type can vary according to the rules of the state. The agency that oversees it may also differ from one location to another.
  • Kind of Dialysis – Dialysis can be peritoneal or hemodialysis. In peritoneal dialysis, the dialysate solution passes through the peritoneal cavity. It’s where the stomach, liver, and intestines are. Hemodialysis involves hooking up the patient to an artificial kidney machine.

Peritoneal dialysis is usually an at-home procedure. Patients need an easier way of disposing of waste. Based on most laws, they can treat them as “urine.” Here, they can dump them in their toilet.

It’s the hemodialysis that clinics often perform. Considering the volume of patients and their frequency of visits, a more streamlined process of waste management is essential. It includes:

  • Submerging the arterial bloodline to a cup filled with acid
  • Draining the solution from the dialyzer in a separate line or tubing
  • Disposing of the waste bag in the toilet
  • Placing clotted blood in a biohazard container
  • Throwing sharp objects in a puncture-resistant bin or container

Can the Clinic Recycle Waste?

Dialysis clinics create different types of waste besides biological ones. For example, they will produce discarded cardboard boxes, scrap paper, bottles, and plastic. The latter can refer to unused syringes, catheters, and other medical supplies. As long as these objects weren’t contaminated, the clinic can recycle or reuse them safely.

Meanwhile, some studies advocate the recycling of dialysis water through reverse osmosis (RO). Dialysis uses a lot of water, and a significant percentage is reject. It is a type of water produced by processes before the fluids entering the patient’s body. It doesn’t contain traces of toxins and body waste but instead ions, which RO can remove.

Should the laws allow it, reusing reject water can provide as much as 7 billion gallons of grade A water, which supports drought-stricken areas. It may also help save the clinic up to 30% of water-related costs.

Dialysis clinics play a significant role in improving the quality of life of millions of Americans. But to be sustainable, they need to practice proper waste disposal management. Doing so also guarantees the safety of everyone, especially staff and patients.

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