CORNER BROOK — The origin of the medical biohazard bag and container found near a dumpster outside this week and how it got there is still unknown to Western Health.
However, the health-care organization remains committed to the process it has for the proper transportation and disposal of biohazards.
“In terms of our own processes, for the transportation of biohazard waste or dangerous goods, we are quite comfortable with the process and system we have in place,” said Keith Allen, the regional director of physical infrastructure support for Western Health.
He said there is no need to take any action or suggest any changes to that process right now, after a small bag was found outside the upper level of the Downtown Medical Centre in Corner Brook. The centre in the former Canadian Tire building on Herald Avenue houses private physician offices and organizations in the upper level and three Western Health clinics in the lower level.
A name and address of the woman the specimen inside the bag was likely taken from was on the container. A Western Health spokesperson said the organization is concerned and is attempting to find out what did happen, but it was too soon to determine whether any action would be required.
First the organization needs to determine where the bag came from, whether it was one of the private doctor’s office or the Western Health clinics.
Specimens collected at a Western Health clinic or clinical setting are taken to the destination, likely the laboratory, by a trained and certified individual, said Allen. The specimen is processed and becomes waste. That waste ends up at Western Memorial Regional Hospital in Corner Brook or Sir Thomas Roddick Hospital in Stephenville, transported in proper refrigerated containers. All biohazard waste is then taken out of the province by a contractor to be incinerated, he said.
That is the process followed by Western Health, but Allen said he could not speak for what other offices or organizations do with specimens or biohazards.
The bag found outside the dumpster could be used in both the transporting and disposal of specimens, says Western Health.