CPR Training Sonoma County

When do I use Bio Hazard Bag?

September 1, 2017

From: Allen James

September is here, schools are going back into session, and we are all looking to settle in for the winter and prepare for the holidays. Halloween is coming in late October. Have you considered a costume for the kids yet? Let’s explore that question later.

But first, let us answer the question at the top of the page. When do I use a Bio Hazard Bag? The answer is: Never!!!!! Not in California if you are not a licensed medical waste generator. “What!” you say? Ok, let’s talk.

During May of 2006, I was working at the American Red Cross (ARC) Chapter in Sonoma County and received a call from California Department of Health Services, Medical Waste Management Program and they asked if ARC was teaching students to use bio hazard bags to dispose of body fluid exposed materials after an emergency. I answered yes. Their response was: If you continue to do so, we will sue you. Well, that got our attention!

The State helped us come up with the following direction to the public: All non-licensed medical waste generators (lay persons) will put medical waste in a double plastic bag and place the bag in the regular trash. If medical responders are present during the emergency, have them collect the exposed material for disposal. Failure can be a fine of $5,000 to $10, 000.

The regulations are found within the Medical Waste Management Act of CA Health & Safety Code, Division 101, Part 14, Chapter 1-11. You can contact them at CA Dept. of Health Services, Medical Waste Management Program, 601 North 7th Street, P. O. Box 942732, Sacramento, CA 94234-7320, (916) 327-6904

Email: MedWasteInfo@dhs.ca.gov

Website: www.dhs.ca.gov/org/ps/ddwen/environmental/Med_Waste/medwasteindex.htm

Now, regarding the Halloween costume, remove the Bio Hazard Bag from your first aid kit, cut holes for a head and arms, place it on the properly aged child, and make up the kid’s face to look ugly. Now you are set for Halloween. Afterwards, cut up the Bio Hazard Bag and place it in a non-see-through bag then into the trash. Happy holidays and be safe!

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