There are various testing methods for COVID-19, such as regular polymerase chain testing (PCR) and rapid testing. PCR tests are more comprehensive, but they also have drawbacks as you don’t receive test results until 24 hours have elapsed in most cases. On the contrary, rapid testing returns test results almost immediately, within 30 minutes.
What are Lateral Flow Kits?
Lateral flow tests process COVID-19 samples quickly without needing any lab equipment. The test detects the presence of a particular protein target to determine results. While most people may have heard the term lateral flow tests for the first time due to the pandemic, lateral flow tests are an established technology that medical professionals have been using for a long time. Many people will find it astounding that they’ve likely come across a lateral flow test in their homes. Pregnancy tests are an excellent example of lateral flow tests.
COVID-19 Lateral Flow Tests
Lateral flow tests are cheap, quick, easy to administer and understand, making them a popular choice in a healthcare setting. These attributes have also contributed to their widespread use during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 lateral flow test kit searches for antigens found in the collected samples. The test is a hand-held device with an absorbent pad and a reading window attached at either end. In addition, there’s a strip of test paper inside the kit that changes color depending on the result.
Disposal of Lateral Flow Tests at Home
As the pandemic has progressed, manufacturing facilities have expanded to continue creating counter-measures to the virus. Many people have access to rapid testing in the convenience of their homes now. However, if you choose to perform a lateral flow test in your home, the onus of safely disposing of the waste lies on your shoulders. You must take the necessary measures to ensure that you remove the garbage safely.
We recommend separating the test and sealing it inside a plastic bag. Furthermore, we recommend lining the plastic bag with a garbage bag for an added layer of protection before throwing it in a sealed bin. You should ensure that you don’t use the sealed container for any other waste. Once done, remove the trash from your home at the earliest opportunity. Also, make sure not to place the waste from lateral flow tests in recyclable bins since that runs a high risk of cross-contamination.
Disposing of Lateral Flow Tests for Medical Facilities
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that laboratories and medical facilities treat all rapid testing kits as bio-hazardous waste. Moreover, the CDC also advises following local and state guidelines when conducting biohazard waste removal.
Since most lateral flow tests in today’s settings are for COVID-19, you need to handle their disposal like medical waste. Here are some of the Waste disposal guidelines you should follow:
All COVID-19 waste must be treated as medical waste, meaning that the tests must be separated from any other waste to prevent contaminants from jumping to other surfaces or objects. You must also ensure that you follow proper medical waste removal guidelines, such as wearing the appropriate PPE gear when handling the waste. In addition, documenting every step of the process is necessary. Depending on the state you’re in, the government has different guidelines for storing this data. For instance, in Texas, the government requires you to keep a collection of records for at least three years.
Storage and Labeling
You should place all medical waste in rigid, sealed containers to ensure no leaks occur. You must also make sure to mark these containers clearly so that there’s no confusion about the contents of these containers. The containers must also be sturdy to prevent tearing or busting from the inside.
Collection and Disposal
We recommend you consider hiring a medical waste company that provides medical waste removal services to handle your testing site’s medical waste. Pharmaceutical waste management can be a challenging prospect, which is why you should entrust professionals with the disposal work.
Professional Medical Waste Removal Services in Denver, CO
If you’re running a laboratory or a testing site in Denver, CO, you need a medical waste company to handle the removal and disposal of your medical waste. Medical Systems is a medical waste removal company that deals with hazardous and non-hazardous waste. We specialize in providing infectious waste disposal, biohazard waste disposal, and biomedical waste disposal services. In addition, we also offer collection services, such as hazardous waste pickup, medical waste pickup, and chemotherapy waste pickup.
Contact us today to find out how we can assist you.