Nenad Zivkovic, Rade Milosevic, Žarko Vranjanac, Dejan Vasovic, Snezana Stevic

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From a global perspective, the negative consequences of the medical waste impact on human health and the environment are becoming increasingly intensified nowadays. On the one hand, these consequences are manifested as infections, injuries and diseases, while on the other hand they cause soil, water and air contamination with pollutants from medical waste. The aim of this paper is to define the principles of a medical waste management programme within medical institutions. By analysing the previous research on medical waste, the paper gives a systematic presentation of the definition, classification and labelling of medical waste, as well as the ecotoxicological risk to the environment and health, thus creating a basis for reviewing the strategies of the management program for this type of waste. Based on the analysis of the available data on generated medical waste in a given territory, the measures of adequate medical waste management can be applied with the aim of eliminating or minimizing the negative consequences of this waste on human health and the environment. A comparative qualitative analysis of medical waste was conducted in the paper. In addition, applying the analysis of the potential methods of medical waste treatments indicated the importance of selecting strategies for medical waste management, which was observed from several perspectives. The defined principles for the implementation of a medical waste management programme represent the key result of this study. The paper provides an overview of the tools for drafting the waste management plan, as well as an example of a diagram intended to support the decision-making on the treatment methods to be used in the absence of appropriate regional infrastructures.


medical waste, classification and categorization, management process

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