Before anyone can understand sharps disposal, it’scrucialto define sharps first. Sharps is considered a biohazardous material that can be used to puncture one’s skin. It’s also contaminated with body fluids. The Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) revealed that about 5.6 million health workers handle medical instruments that contain needles, scalpels, and syringes. They are more exposed to bloodborne pathogens that come from sharps-related injuries. This necessitates surgery clinics, health centers, medical clinics, and other business establishments that produce contaminated needles and syringes to have proper sharps disposal.
Proper disposal of sharps includes the following: care from the immediate medical community, the right puncture-proof container, proper training on how to handle sharps, and a licensed medical waste disposal company to remove containers.
FDA-Approved Proper Sharps Disposal
The Food and Drug Administration recommends two steps for a proper sharps disposal. The first step is to put all needles and sharps in the right sharps container for disposal right after they are used. The second step is to dispose of the sharps containers based on the guidelines set by the community.
For step 1, it’sessential to keep the containers away from the reach of children and pets. It’s not recommended to reuse these sharps containers. Dispose of the container when it’s ¾ full. Overfilling it may make it risky for health workers to acquire accidental needle pricks.
For step 2, it’s crucial to be aware of your medical community’s guidelines or programs. Every community has its own. You can find out about it through your health department or the trash removal services. There are various types of disposal methods for sharps.
Supervised Collection Sites or Drop Boxes
There are disposal containers placed at particular collection sites. Examples of these are doctors’ offices, health departments, police or fire stations, and medical waste facilities.
It’s possible for you to mail FDA-cleared sharps containers for disposal. This service comes with a fee which depends on the size of the container. Always follow the instructions set by the manufacturer.
Sites for Household Hazardous Waste Collection
There are also local public sites where you’re allowed to drop off your hazardous waste collection. These sites usually accept hazardous materials such as paints, cleaners, and motor oil.
Special Waste Pick Up from Residences
It might be that your community has a special waste pick up service. Some special waste handlers can come to your place to collect it. Often this service comes with a fee, and there are special requirements on the containers that they will collect.
Daniels, the leading medical waste disposal company worldwide, makes use of the MediSmart, a waste container system designed to prevent infection and reduce cost. MediSmart has been proven to improve medical waste segregation, minimize the potential for infection and risks for incurring sharps injury, and to improve efficiencies regarding space used and transport of medical waste. Medismart also helps in reducing medical waste mass and volume. It also helps reduce cost in handling and disposal. It operates in many states around the US.