Medical waste is a form of solid waste that is regulated by numerous agencies. These agencies impose, what can be, complicated regulations that make medical waste compliance difficult. Below are ten things about medical waste compliance that you may not know but should.
Prescription drug abuse is a growing epidemic in the United States. Opioids, depressants and stimulants are the most abused medications. According to the Los Angeles Times, the leading cause of death from unintentional injuries in the U.S. is drug-related poisonings, which has surpassed automobile accidents. Between 1999 and 2006, deaths from drug poisoning have almost doubled. The first step towards preventing drug abuse is proper medication disposal.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic disease that affects the central nervous system, which consists of the spinal cord, brain and optic nerves. MS occurs when the immune system attacks myelin, the fatty substance that surrounds and insulates the nerve fibers, and the nerve fibers themselves.1 The National Multiple Sclerosis Society estimates that 400,000 people nationwide and 2.3 million people worldwide are affected by multiple sclerosis.2 MS can be difficult to diagnose because many of the symptoms are similar to other neurologic diseases. Symptoms include blurred vision, weak and stiff muscles, numbness, dizziness and bladder control problems.3
Fall has arrived along with fall allergies. With the cooler temperatures and color-changing leaves also comes mold and pollen. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 40-60 million people are affected by allergic rhinitis, also known as hay fever. Common symptoms include sneezing, itchy eyes and stuffy or runny nose. Doctors must prepare for the influx of patients they will treat during this season.
Controversy surrounds dental amalgam, the material sometimes used to fill cavities, because about half of it is composed of elemental mercury. Amalgam is a mixture of metals consisting of liquid mercury and a powdered alloy composed of tin, copper and silver. Elemental mercury reacts with and binds together with the alloy particles to form an amalgam. These fillings are also referred to as “silver fillings” due to their silver appearance.1
Elemental mercury releases mercury vapor that is primarily absorbed through the lungs, harmfully affecting them. Coughing, difficulty breathing and headaches are just a few of the symptoms of inhaling mercury. It is also possible for mercury to be absorbed through the skin; however, it is a much slower process.2