1 Sep 19, '09
by rn/writer Guide
The information below was taken from the OSHA website.
Urine that does not contain visible blood is not regarded, under the standard, as blood or other potentially infectious material (OPIM). Therefore, absent the patient having a medical condition that would lead to blood in the urine, containers used to collect urine would not meet the standard's definition of "regulated waste." Urine containers and pregnancy tests that do not contain visible blood would not be required to be discarded in biohazard-red labeled containers under OSHA's bloodborne pathogens standard.
Think about it--we don't throw wet or soiled diapers into biohazard bags unless there are isolation issues involved. "Fresh" urine is sterile. Even when it begins to deteriorate we don't generally regard it as infectious. Using this reasoning, while psychological squeamishness might say otherwise, disposing of empty urine cups in the regular trash is just fine. Requiring disposal into biohazard bags is an expensive and unnecessary measure.
In this time of looking for ways to save money, facilities that have been using biohazard bags for ordinary urine cups or Foley bags might want to reconsider.
Last edit by rn/writer on Sep 20, '09