Needles have many different names, depending upon the region and profession, namely shots, sharps, jabs, vials, vaccines, and injections. Survival in the healthcare industry is almost impossible without these ultra-important tools. People may also use sharps in their homes as part of ongoing treatment to cure chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, etc. Safe disposal of these elements is important to optimize the safety of medical staff, patients, and the environment. Taking enough time to fully understand sharps waste disposal is critical for maintaining your organization’s safety.

About Sharps

Sharps are medical equipment used in the health care industry for medication purposes. They have sharp points or cutting edges capable of causing injury to or piercing human skin when handled. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations state that a vial is an object that can penetrate your skin. They are not harmful until professionals properly administer them. But once we use a 3ml syringe or 5ml syringe, it becomes a biohazardous waste that demands proper disposal. 

 

There are several types of injury-causing tools found in healthcare organizations, such as:

  • Hypodermic needles
  • Medical Syringes
  • Lancets
  • Scalpels
  • Wires, including dental wires.

And so on.

Sharp Injury Prevention

Experts advise that we should keep the used sharps at bay. It may cause detrimental health issues to you or your family. When a used needle penetrates, it gifts your body with a bloodborne pathogen, a microorganism. It could be a bacteria, virus, or fungi, which may be present in blood or other body fluids. It can lead to serious illnesses like hepatitis, AIDS, or other bloodborne diseases. You always risk transmitting bloodborne pathogens upon contaminated sharp penetration(knowingly or unknowingly), such as through a puncture or cut. 

If you expose yourself to a risk of being infected with bloodborne pathogens, it is important to schedule an appointment for emergency services. Also, ensure to limit the chances of getting sharps injuries and keep your symptoms in check. To avoid such incidents, it is vital to dispose of sharps strategically. Health care organizations will save millions of dollars from sharps prevention technology. You can reduce the accidental contact potential and avoid the costliest dermatological problems from inappropriate injection methods.

Needle Disposal

It would help if you disposed of medical sharps in specially designed sharps containers that are FDA-marked and comply with the law. These receptacles are either hard, rigid plastic, or cardboard designed to prevent punctures and leaks like needles can sometimes cause. They are also clearly labeled as biohazardous, which ensures proper handling.

Healthcare professionals should place sharps waste disposal containers in areas near their utilization, including exam rooms, laboratories, pharmacies, and nurses’ stations. It helps protect personnel from infection and injury caused by unwanted blood/saliva on sharps. It is advisable to position them as close as possible to the point of use and install them at the recommended height for easy employee access.

Many organizations are beginning to adopt reusable sharps containers as part of their efforts to reduce the amount of waste they create. They can also help employees achieve their goal of recycling more. Receptacles made out of these plastic containers are hard and last a long time, and they don’t end up in landfills.

Container Disposal

Needle waste containers are a must-have for any healthcare facility. These containers are essential in preventing diseases, especially HIV and hepatitis. Needle waste disposal is not a new concept, but it has become more important as people use injection drugs.

More people are turning to needle disposal because it is easier and more convenient than disposing of needles in other ways. It is not just true for healthcare facilities but also for households that use these types of needles.

A designated professional must evacuate sharps waste containers from the healthcare facility once full. Further, they should transport it and dispose of it by a medical waste management expert. Some states allow companies to dispose of needles waste within 30 days.

 

Organizations that do not bring about a large volume of sharps waste may use mail-back sharps containers. These are disposable sharps containers shipped to the healthcare facility with easy-to-follow instructions and a prepaid return shipping box. These containers can also be made available to patients who wish to dispose of diabetic syringes or other sharps used for medication self-administration at home. 

Medical Waste Management Facility

Medical waste management facilities are where medical waste is stored for a certain period before its disposal. These facilities are also known as hazardous materials management facilities or biohazardous waste management facilities.

The medical waste management facility is the most important part of a hospital, clinic, or healthcare facility. It is where medical equipment and supplies are stored and processed before their disposal. Medical waste management facilities handle clinical wastes generated at hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare institutions. These facilities typically handle the following wastes:

– Disposable items like gloves, sheets, and gowns

– Pharmaceuticals include medications in containers that have been opened or partially used, sterile syringe with needles attached to them.

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