Safe Sharps Disposal. Healthcare professionals and patients around the world have been exposed to the risk of contracting a serious illness from discarded needles, syringes, and other sharp objects. In Australia, for example, one fifth of all hepatitis C infections are the result of contact with a needle.
In this article, we will provide information on how to safely dispose of those dangerous items that have been used in medical practices or by those who inject drugs at home. We will also provide you with an overview of some available options for safe disposal.
Safe disposal of needles and syringes is important for public health. Used needles and syringes can spread diseases such as HIV, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C. Sharps containers are devices that safely store used needles and syringes so they cannot transmit these diseases. They come in a variety of different sizes and are offered by your healthcare waste management company. It’s important to choose the right size sharps container for your facility’s needs. You can discuss this when contracting with a medical waste disposal company.
The number one defense against sharps injuries is training, knowing how, what, and where to use and dispose of sharps is paramount in preventing needle stick injuries. Below is an overview of some of the safety measures to be taken when handling sharps.
Sharps should never be recapped and should always be discarded just after use. It is important to have FDA cleared sharps containers available at the point of generation.
The safest type of sharps container is one that prevents contact with other sharps in the container. This is accomplished by using a container that has a touchless disposal process. You place the sharp in a tray and rotate the lid, so the sharps drop into the container without you having to place them inside of the container manually, which helps prevent sticks from other items in the container.
When picking up other types of sharps like broken glass, you should use a pan and broom and never pick up the items by hand.
Only uncap needles when they are ready to be used. You can use a hemostat to loosen and remove the cap.
Always keeping your eye on the sharps while in use and making sure the needle is pointed away from the user can help prevent accidental needle sticks.
When in a hurry or rushing to do a procedure that involves sharps, that can lead to accidental needle sticks, take a moment, and slow yourself down before proceeding. Sharps injuries are among the most reported injuries and can have life and death consequences.
Never place sharps or broken glass in the regular trash as it can injure other workers, patients, and the people who pick up your waste.
Always keep sharps waste separate from other waste streams.
The necessity to have a licensed, trained, and professional medical waste disposal company has never been a higher priority. We are knowledgeable in all areas of state and federal law and each of our drivers and staff members are trained and employed by us. Healthcare Waste Management owns our own trucks and disposal plants. We are partnered with small and large healthcare providers of all types working to ensure that your facility is safe, and we are accommodating to meet your facilities needs.
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