All the Important Aspects of Sharps Disposal You Need to Know

Sharps is the medical term which stands for medical devices that have sharp points and edges that can puncture or cut the skin. These can be used at home, while at work, or even while traveling. They are often used for various purposes such as to manage medical conditions of humans and pets. There are different types of sharps. Some examples of them are syringes, needles, infusion sets, connection needles/sets, lancets, or auto-injectors.

Why Sharps Disposal Is Important

Used needles and other sharps can be dangerous to pets and humans if they are not properly disposed of. They can injure humans and may accidentally spread infections that can lead to serious health and medical conditions. The most common of these are HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), Hepatitis B (HPB), and Hepatitis C (HPC.)That’s why it’s not safe to put needles and other sharps in any household or public trash cans or recycling bins. For needles that are used to give medicine to pets, they must be disposed of according to the guidelines followed by humans and set by the medical community. Not doing so may endanger the janitors, household workers, sewage workers, household members, children, and pets.

The FDA has set its own sharps disposal methods. There are two significant steps to remember when handling sharps. The first step is to make sure that sharps are placed in a sharps disposal container right after they are used. The container has to be safe from the reach of children and pets. Don’t wait for the container to overflow. Seal off the container once it’s ¾ full and bring it to the designated collection area. The second step of sharps disposal includes disposing of the sharps disposal containers by following the guidelines set by the community.

There are also several do’s and don’ts to remember for you to ensure a proper sharps disposal. Here are some of them:

Do’s

If you use household containers in disposing of sharps, make sure that it possesses the eseential features of a reliable disposal container. Bring with you a portable sharps container for disposal every time you travel. It’s important that you seal the containers before you dispose of them. You also have to label them correctly and dispose of them based on the guidelines provided by the community. It’s helpful if you report any problems you encountered regarding sharps collection and disposal. You can ask your medical or prescription insurer if they have sharps disposal containers to use.

Don’ts

Don’t flush down syringes or needles down the toilet. It’s not a good idea to bend, break, remove, or recap needles that are used by another person. This may lead to accidental needle sticks which can bring about serious infections. It’s also not a good idea to remove the needle without using a needle clipper since the needle may fly off, fall, get lost, and injure someone accidentally. Moreover, remember that it’s a big no-no to throw loose needles and other sharps into the trash bin. For more information on the above, you can check here.