Tuesday 19 July 2016

You are the key to safety when it comes to sharps disposal

Posted by at 9:00 AM

Needles should be treated as if they carry disease, period. If someone gets stuck with a needle, they have to get medical tests to determine whether or not they caught a harmful or deadly disease. If you or a caregiver use needles at home, at work, while traveling or for pets, responsible disposal of them is very important to prevent accidental harm to other people.

Sharps include:

  • Needles – used to inject drugs (medication) under the skin
  • Syringes – used to inject medication into or withdraw fluid from the body
  • Lancets – used to get drops of blood for testing
  • Auto injectors – syringes pre-filled with fluid medication designed to be self-injected into the body
  • Infusion sets – tubing systems with a needle used to deliver drugs to the body
  • Connection needles/sets – needles that connect to a tube used to transfer fluid in and out of the body.

After self injecting or using any of the above, they should be placed into an FDA-cleared sharps disposal container, available through LB Medwaste. These containers are puncture- and leak-resistant and have a lid that is tight fitting. If such a container is not available immediately, you should use a heavy-duty plastic household container, such as a laundry detergent container.

Never place used sharps in the trash can! And, don’t try to flush them down the toilet. If you don’t personally use sharps, share this information with others who you may know. Everyone can benefit from this message.

And, if you accidentally get stuck by someone else’s used needle, wash the area right away with soap and water or use hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol. Then contact your healthcare provider.

As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Follow these guidelines to keep everyone safe.