Medical waste found outside trash cans at medical professional building

Patients, workers concerned about waste piling up

Author: April Molina, Investigative Reporter, amolina@ksat.com
Published On: Feb 20 2013 03:10:03 PM CST   Updated On: Feb 20 2013 05:48:12 PM CST
SAN ANTONIO -

Syringe caps, bloody gauze and used gloves are just a few of the medical supplies found tossed on the ground outside the Westover Hills Medical Plaza.

Medical Assistant Marsha Reyna called KSAT's Defenders after several different sightings at the same garbage area.

"Urine cups, specimens, little tubes (were) in there, so it's a concern for all of us," Reyna said.

She is hoping it will get cleaned up.

The garbage area sits adjacent to the medical office building in the parking lot, not far from the front door.

Reyna worries about all the patients.

"(It's) very dangerous for children to come by here," Reyna said. "There's a lot of children coming in and out of this building."

"I think it's dangerous. It's harmful for the environment and for the people," said patient Robert Martinez.

"We don't know what other people might have and we can get contaminated with any of this," said another patient.

KSAT brought the issue to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Investigator Cameron Lopez said it is not the type of medical waste that had to be regulated, but the fact that it was found on the ground was of concern.

"As a waste in general, it has to be appropriately managed and that means being containerized into the (trash) and appropriately disposed of," Lopez said.

Property management refused an interview, sending only a statement explaining they had removed the material appropriately and also that they would take aggressive steps to ensure it didn't happen again.

The Defenders checked back after hearing the mess had been cleaned up, and once again ran across uncontained used medical supplies on the ground.

For a list of recent stories April Molina has done, click here.