How to Handle Sharp Disposal as a Medical Clinic
As a busy medical clinic, you may deal with various types of sharps all day long. Proper disposal is not only required by law, but it is one of the keys to a safe working environment for your staff. One prick on a needle and they could end up with a life-threatening illness. Regulations can change periodically, so it’s always good to work with an experienced disposal company that is knowledgeable in medical waste products.
How to Recognize Sharps
While you may realize that needles and scalpels are considered sharps, the term is actually much broader. Any object which can cut the skin or pierce it would be labeled as a sharp.
Some other items that come under this category besides needles include the following:
- Scalpels and other blades
- Insulin pens
- Epi pens
- Infusion sets
- Lancets or fingerstick devices
- Syringes – they may have the needle attached
- Connection sets
- Sharp plastic
How to Dispose of Sharps
All sharps should be placed in a container that is puncture resistant. Once you have the sharps secured, you have multiple options for disposal. You can dispose of them on-site, but this requires special equipment.
You may package the sharps for medical waste and have a disposal company collect the package to dispose of. Another option is mailback where you will send the sharps in special packaging through the mail.
Sharps are dangerous for medical workers because they can carry bloodborne pathogens which lead to serious illnesses like Hepatitis B and C. Proper disposal will prevent many of these injuries and keep workers safe.
How to Handle Sharps Disposal
There are certain standards you should follow as you dispose of sharps. They include the following guidelines:
- Do not pass sharps from one hand to another
- Discard used sharps immediately in the correct container
- Sharps containers must be kept away from the public
- Do not overfill the container and keep it closed in between use
- Do not use container for anything other than sharps
- Do not bend or break the needles before disposal
- Place the container in a secure location where it will not spill
Even though disposing of sharps correctly is critical for a safe environment, many people overlook one or more of these tips. If you have any questions about disposing of sharps, what might be considered a sharp or how to protect your staff from sharps injuries, you can talk to a medical waste disposal company that is knowledgeable in regulations and safety.