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Safe Disposal of Sharps in Hospitals

June 25, 2021

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Safe Disposal of Sharps in Hospitals

Bloodborne pathogens are blood-borne diseases that are transmitted by exposure to infected blood or other body fluids. The CDC estimates that 1.3 million needlesticks and other sharps-related injuries occur in hospitals each year. Here we will provide some guidelines for safe disposal of sharps in hospitals.

Why do we need safe disposal of sharps in hospitals?

Amongst other reasons, infectious diseases can spread rapidly in a hospital setting. This may occur due to a wide range of reasons, including not disposing of sharps as soon as possible. Furthermore, infectious diseases like hepatitis, HIV, and tuberculosis are a major cause of death worldwide and are found in hospitals. It is important for people coming into contact with blood or blood-borne pathogens to practice good infection control procedures, such as wearing personal protective equipment, properly disposing of sharps as soon as you are done with them, they should go from your hand after use directly to the sharps container, not laid down in the interim, and to practice good hygiene.

What are bloodborne pathogens?

Bloodborne pathogens are infectious microorganisms in human blood that can cause disease in humans. These pathogens include, but are not limited to, hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Needlesticks and other sharps-related injuries may expose workers to bloodborne pathogens.

How do we dispose of sharps in hospitals?

Healthcare professionals have a duty to protect patients’ lives, and there are certain procedures and materials that they are legally and ethically required to follow to ensure that the safety and welfare of their patients is safeguarded. While the CDC outlines these steps in detail, hospitals also have specific disposal protocols, often documented in a medical center’s Medical Waste Management Policy. Healthcare providers should implement and follow these practices to prevent the transmission of bloodborne pathogens.

How to use sharps containers

When handling sharps, it is important that one knows how to use the container properly. One should immediately place used needles and other sharps in a sharps disposal container to reduce the risk of needle sticks, cuts, or punctures from loose sharps. Use an FDA-cleared sharps disposal container. The mailbox lid containers allow one to place a sharp in an area away from other sharps in the container and then by rotating the lid the sharp drops into the container. Keep all sharps and sharps disposal containers out of reach of children. Seal sharps disposal containers when disposing of them, and label them properly.


As mentioned in the title, safe sharps disposal and waste management is the process of removing sharps wastes and the resulting materials from any given area so not to be a threat to staff or patient safety. Here at Healthcare Waste Management, we service Hospitals large and small for cost-effective medical waste disposal services. We are able to provide high level service at cost-effective pricing because we service the entire process of your medical waste disposal, from the drivers, trucks to the treatment plants. Our employees, our trucks, our safety procedures, and our treatment plants.  Call Healthcare Waste Management and speak to one of our medical waste specialists to determine the best solution for your hospital today.

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