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KANSAS CITY -- Dornoch Medical Systems Inc. has engaged Jack McGurk, a long-time official with the California Department of Health Services, to work with the company and its customers. Until his recent retirement, McGurk was chief of the departments Environmental Management Branch, responsible for the oversight of eight environmental health programs including the Medical Waste Management Program.
With regulators beginning to more closely monitor infectious fluid waste disposal, McGurk and Dornoch representatives have been meeting with hospitals and other facilities to assess their current practices and examine options for increasing effectiveness and reducing costs.
California officials have done some testing that showed suction canisters are often not adequately treated through autoclave treatment, so they issued a directive Feb. 2, 2005 that requires hospitals to re-evaluate their treatment systems, McGurk said. California may be at the forefront but there are other states taking a close look at this issue.
McGurk has been in public health for more than 38 years, working for county and state health departments. He played a key role in developing legislation that became the California Medical Waste Management Act. McGurk led a pollution-prevention partnership with California hospitals to reduce the solid and medical wastes and eliminate mercury from their waste streams. The program was honored by Hospitals for a Healthy Environment in 2002, 2003 and 2004 with its Champion for Change Award for promoting pollution prevention in healthcare facilities. A past-president of the California Environmental Health Association, McGurk serves as a member of the Environmental and Public Health Council of Underwriters Laboratory.
The Transposal system that Dornoch Medical developed handles the collection and disposal of infectious fluid waste through a closed system. The patented process minimizes staff risk and greatly reduces the amount of costly red-bag waste. Transposal safely and affordably disposes of liquid infectious fluids through a system that is flexible and easy to adopt facility-wide, which is why more and more hospitals and outpatient surgical facilities are selecting Transposal, said Dornoch president Gary Mostow.
Dornoch's infectious fluid waste management systems help address a significant national environmental challenge. More than 50 million suction canisters, representing some 225 million pounds of infectious waste, are disposed of annually. Fluids collected during surgery present an expensive disposal challenge. Although infectious waste represents only about 20 percent of all hospital waste, infectious waste accounts for more than 75 percent of disposal costs. Additionally, OSHA, EPA and DOT regulations are increasing administrative burdens associated with infectious waste, particularly relating to employee exposure, transportation and final disposal. Those regulations and safety concerns have led more than two-thirds of U.S. hospitals to eliminate the practice of pouring infectious fluid wastes into a drain, according to a survey by Dornoch.
Source: Dornoch Medical Systems Inc.