The On-site Solution to Managing Regulated Fluid Medical Waste and Its Environmental Impact

Today, more than ever before, a solution is needed for safely discharging infectious fluid medical waste directly into sanitary sewer systems and the environment. Innovasan founder and co-inventor, Jeff Hubrig, Sr., who has had a successful career in developing and commercializing disruptive technologies, including fluid medical waste technologies that are currently employed in hospitals and surgery centers worldwide, recognized this need in 2007 and developed Med-San®, a technology that will destroy biological agents, pharmaceuticals and other chemical compounds for safe discharge into the sanitary sewer system.

There are over 260,000 medical treatment facilities in the United States. Within that 260,000 are 11,000 hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers performing 51.4 million inpatient procedures annually with a 2% annual increase, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These 51.4 million procedures generate approximately 154.2 million gallons of infectious fluid waste on an annual basis; this fluid waste is either permitted for untreated discharged down the drain to sanitary sewer systems or solidified for untreated transport to landfills or incinerators where it leaches back into our watersheds or releases hazardous airborne emissions into our communities.

Municipal wastewater treatment plants were designed to treat only human waste; as a result, bloodborne pathogens, pharmaceutical drugs and other chemical compounds cannot be adequately managed and pass untreated into the environment, regardless of the increased amounts of chlorine used in an attempt to treat the waste. Additionally, today’s sanitary sewer system infrastructure is aging and facing annual increases in fluid waste volumes as well as stormwater runoff, resulting in leaks and overflows of untreated sewage into the environment. This combination of untreated sewage discharge and escalating levels of chlorine imposes an additional public health burden upon our local communities and watersheds.

“There are many technologies on the market that are designed to keep the medical staff safe and save medical treatment centers (MTCs) expensive costs to treat and dispose of fluid medical waste, but there is no affordable infectious fluid medical waste treatment system commercially available that disinfects biological agents for safe ‘down the drain’ discharge to the sanitary sewer system”, explains Hubrig. “While our focus today is commercializing products that destroy fluid medical waste, pharmaceuticals drugs and other organic compounds before they are discharged into the environment, our ultimate goal is clean and safe water everywhere”.

Med-San® is the patented technology underlying Innovasan's family of fluid waste treatment products. It was launched as a joint cooperative research effort with the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) and the U.S. Medical Research and Material Command (USAMRMC), Ft. Detrick, Maryland. Med-San® is a patented, continuous flow, volume scalable, waste treatment technology which renders a disinfected and chemically inert waste stream that is safe for discharge into sanitary sewer systems or directly into the environment.

Innovasan’s first product to market is the Gauntlet™ Disinfection System, to be launched in 2016. It is designed specifically for a safe on-site treatment of infectious surgical waste. Gauntlet™ destroys infectious agents and provides cost savings to medical treatment facilities by producing a waste stream that is safe for down the drain disposal. This minimizes the exposure hazards and eliminates the expenses associated with solidification, red bagging, transportation and landfill and incinerator disposal fees. More importantly, it significantly reduces the public health burden on wastewater treatment plants caused by the current practice of untreated down the drain disposal.

The Gauntlet™ Disinfection System requires a minimal amount of space for operation, is easy to install and maintain, interfaces with current fluid medical waste collection and disposal equipment, features a self-cleaning treatment process and provides smart sensor technology for remote data monitoring.

According to Jeff Hubrig, Jr, Manager of Business Development, “We have established a Beta-Site Development Program which includes placing 100 Gauntlet™ units in hospitals and surgery centers that would be interested in participating in a product field trial designed to bring the voice of the customer into the final stage of product development prior to a nationwide launch.” “We invite those interested in participating in our Beta-Site Program to contact Innovasan for more details.”