“Ideally yes, they are cut to prevent misuse. If you have an authorised recycler who can assure you of no reuse, like in the MOM or contract made for recycling you can go ahead,” explains Dr Anju Kagal, Prof. of Microbiology, BJ Government Medical College, Pune.
“The scissors and knife used for cutting infected waste can themselves become a source of infection. These cutting instruments has to be disinfected too. As per the new guidelines, these disposal items can be used for road making or by fuel companies. In that case cleaning or dipping in 1% hypochlorite is easy. Most of the plastics may not be infected. If IV lines are contaminated, choose a clean part to mutilate.”
However, in most hospitals, the nursing staff are practically busy with the hospital work that they find it difficult to take time out for cutting and disposing. “Nonetheless, if we are committed to infection control we have to mutilate the disposables before discarding,” says Dr Kagal.