How To Handle and Dispose of Your Sharps Waste. Sharps waste, also called “sharps”, are used needles, syringes, and lancets. They can contain blood or other body fluids that can transmit HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and other bloodborne diseases. To avoid exposure to these dangerous substances, it is important to handle and dispose of sharps properly.
There are multiple ways to safely discard of sharps waste. The most common way is through a designated container. This container should be an FDA cleared puncture-resistant and leak-proof container. It’s also important to seal or lock the container lid when full.
Healthcare professionals are at risk for injuries from sharps needles, lancets, or other devices that can pierce their skin. The sharps container is a container that is used to safely hold the disposed sharp items.
It’s important to know how to handle and dispose of your sharps because improper handling or disposal poses the risk of injury to others and you.
This article will provide you with information on how to handle and dispose of your sharps waste.
How To Handle and Dispose of Your Sharps Waste. Sharps are medical devices like needles, scalpels, and other tools that cut or go into the skin. Learning how to safely handle sharps is important to prevent accidental needlesticks.
When handling sharps remember to follow these guidelines. Do not unwrap or uncover the sharp item like a needle until you are ready to use it. Keep the sharp object always pointed away from yourself and others. Never recap or try to bend, break a sharp object. If the object is reusable, put it in a secure, closed container after you use it. Never hand a sharp object to someone else or put it on a tray for another person to pick up. Tell the people you are working with when you plan to set the object down or pick it up.
Make sure the disposal container is an FDA cleared sharps container made for disposing of sharp objects. Replace containers when they hit the full line marked on the container or if no line is present when they are two-thirds full.
When disposing of sharps remember to follow these best practices.
Never put your fingers into the sharps container. If the needle has tubing attached to it, hold the needle and the tubing when you put it in the sharps container. Sharps containers should be at eye level and within your reach. If a needle is sticking out of the container, do not push it in with your hands. Have the container removed. Or a trained person may use tongs to push the needle back into the container. If you find an uncovered sharp object outside of a disposal container, it is safe to pick it up only if you can grasp the non-sharp end. If you cannot, use tongs to pick it up and dispose of it. If your sharps involve broken glass never use your hand to pick it up, always use a device like a broom and pan to avoid being accidently cut.
When your sharps container is full it must be sealed or locked with the lid and then may be placed in your biohazard box or bin for safe disposal.
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