Effective Management of Fluid Waste in the OR: What You Need to Know

Course Code: 3920 / classroom

2 contact hours

Perioperative Nurses


In all surgical practice settings, reducing the risk of infection for patients and occupational exposure to blood and other infectious material for staff members are ongoing concerns today. Exposure to fluid waste can increase the risk for infection and other adverse events for both patients and members of the surgical team. Significant advancements have also been made in the technology of evacuation devices, including suctioning systems that effectively remove hazardous fluid. Therefore, all members of the perioperative team should be aware of the risks associated with exposure to blood and body fluids in the operating room (OR) and the need to implement measures to effectively evacuate them to provide a safe environment of care for both patients and staff. Fluid waste evacuation equipment can facilitate safety only if it is set up correctly, functioning properly, and used appropriately. This continuing education activity will provide fundamental information related to the hazards associated with occupational exposure to blood and other potentially infectious fluids and the importance of its proper handling and disposal. The various types of medical waste produced by health care facilities will be reviewed. Current collection and disposal methods for fluid waste will be outlined, followed by a discussion of the hazards associated with occupational exposure to blood, body fluids, and other potentially hazardous materials. Finally, current regulations, guidelines, and recommendations related to proper handling of fluid waste will be discussed.