Use a Small Sharps Container for Proper Disposal

by | Apr 9, 2014 | Medical Facilities

Many individuals must user sharps, such as needles, syringes and lancets, for medical maintenance. Some patients must inject medication, while others may need to test their blood to monitor sugar levels. These patients need to learn how to properly use a small sharps container to dispose of these items in a safe manner to protect everyone else.

What Qualifies as a Sharp?
The first step in the process of learning about the proper disposal of small sharps is determining what qualifies. In general, a sharp is anything that can puncture the skin and potentially transmit blood-borne diseases between individuals. Some of the most common types of sharps individuals may use in their own homes to manage a disease include:

  • Syringes
  • Needles
  • Lancets
  • Auto Injectors
  • Infusion Sets

In some situations, these may be products patients use themselves. Others may be used by medical personnel who provide care in the patient’s home.

Proper Disposal Is Essential
Even if you don’t suffer from a medical condition that can be passed between individuals by the used sharps, the use of a small sharps container is still essential. This protects everyone from the risk of illness or injury. Never throw used sharps in the regular household garbage or flush them down the toilet. This puts others outside your home at risk as well. Instead, they should be placed in a sharps approved container provided by an experienced company that specializes in their proper disposal.

What Should You Do If an Accident Happens?
Despite using the utmost in care when handling your used sharps, accidents could still happen. You may make a mistake by leaving one out after use instead of placing it in the approved container. If someone is accidentally punctured by a used needle, immediate action should be taken. Wash the exposed area thoroughly with soap and water and use hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol on the area. Call your physician or local hospital to determine what your next course of action should be.

Proper use of a sharps container is a must if you use sharps for medical care in your home. Without the right steps for safe disposal, those who are living with you, as well as waste management personnel and others, could be at risk for infection or injury. Learning the importance of taking the right steps will ensure you manage your disease properly and take the necessary steps to protect yourself and everyone around you.

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