How to handle sharps waste

Human beings and animals, in general, get sick from time to time. This usually requires some form of medication or treatment to help bring back the situation to normal. This may involve the use of medicinal drugs or herbs that help in the recovery process. In the course of administering medication, there may need to extract samples for testing or to inject the drugs directly into the bloodstream using syringes or to use sharp clinical tools to make incisions. 

These are helpful tools in the diagnosis and treatment process. However, most of these tools, if not all of them, are meant for single use only, which creates the need for effective disposal mechanisms. Here are some guidelines on how you can effectively dispose of these tools to prevent accidents and infections.

Use of disposal containers

One of the most effective ways of managing sharps waste is by making use of disposal containers. This method requires you to dispose of all the needles and other sharp clinical tools into a designated sharps disposal container immediately after use. This reduces the risk of experiencing needle sticks, punctures or cuts from loose sharps. Sharps disposal containers should be kept out of reach of pets and children as a safety precaution. Also, you should not overfill your sharps disposal container as this may increase the risk of accidental needle-stick injury. 

Adhere to community guidelines to dispose of your sharps disposal containers

These disposal procedures may vary from place to place, depending on your area of residence. Therefore, be sure to check with the local authorities in your area to find the prescribed health department provisions or trash removal services. 

Use of supervised collection sites or drop boxes 

Some locations may provide supervised collection at appropriate collection sites such as hospitals, health departments, doctors’ offices, and medical waste facilities where you can dispose of your sharps disposal containers. Most local authorities provide such services for free, although others may charge a nominal fee for the services. 

Hazardous waste collection sites for households

Another possible alternative for disposing of sharps and sharps disposal containers is at dangerous medical waste collection sites for homes. If one exists within your neighborhood, then this is a viable option that can make waste disposal an easy exercise for you. Also, such disposal sites usually accept other hazardous household materials such as paints, motor oil, and household cleaners. 

Use of existing mail-back programs

Some FDA-cleared sharps and sharps disposal containers usually come with mail-back capabilities to a given collection site at a given fee. It is at the collection sites that the disposal containers are then properly disposed of. Notably, the charges for such programs may vary depending on the size of the box. To use this program, you should follow the container manufacturer’s directions to ensure you to adhere to the specific requirements as provided for effective disposal.

Conclusion

Sharps are regularly used to facilitate treatment procedures. It is, therefore, vital to adopt effective waste disposal mechanisms to ensure there are no accidents that result from their use. Choosing a suitable method for managing sharps waste is the first step towards ensuring safety for all the people involved, either directly or indirectly.