A Guide for Sharps Disposal
Sharps waste disposal is a crucial part of the medical industry. Improper disposal of sharps waste can lead to serious dangers in transporting infectious and toxic pathogens. Improperly discarded sharps and needles can become infected with blood, bacteria, pathogens, drugs, and other diseases, including HIV and Hepatitis which is why it is so important to dispose of sharps correctly. Let’s go into more detail about what sharps waste is and how it is handled and disposed of.
What is Sharps Waste?
Sharps are small, needle-like materials that are used to inject or puncture an animal or person to inject medical or other fluids. The two types of sharps most often found in the medical setting are needles and syringes. Both of these items can cause serious harm if they are not properly disposed of. Sharps and needles must be disposed of in a sanitary and safe manner to protect patients, nurses, laboratory technicians, waste disposal companies, and the environment. If the sharps in the needles are not properly disposed of, there is a chance of patients contracting diseases such as HIV.
Another issue is bloodborne pathogen transmission. Blood can be contaminated by entering into a body through a break or cut. Any bodily fluids, including blood, can carry bloodborne pathogens. In addition, any object that comes in contact with an infected wound or body fluid can become contaminated and give off possible infectious bacteria. Medical sharps waste disposal is often the cause of bloodborne pathogen transmission.
Sharps Disposal Containers
Every kind of medical waste has a different type of container that is used to store that waste until it is time for it to be disposed of. For sharps disposal, you will need sharps containers, which have features that will minimize the risk of harming someone from contact. There are two different types of sharps containers, ones that are PG-II DOT-approved, meaning that they can be transported by themselves, and ones that are non-DOT-approved, which means that they need to be placed into another container before they can be transferred.
Sharps waste containers are for any medical facilities that use sharps, but other types of places will also need sharps containers, such as tattoo shops. Sharps containers are available in a variety of sizes, as everyone’s needs are different. A hospital may need a large container while a small medical facility may need a smaller container. There are also sharp containers available to protect the environment, called reusable containers. Regulations regarding medical waste differ from state to state. As a result, it is important to understand the regulations in your state and the hazard you will be responsible for handling.
Waste Disposal Companies
In order to ensure that sharps containers are correctly disposed of, healthcare facilities use medical waste disposal companies. These companies work with health care facilities to pick up, haul, and dispose of sharps containers. When choosing a provider for your sharps containers, you should choose one that is licensed and certified. A provider that has a good reputation for timely and safe sharps container disposal is especially important. These companies are trained in all aspects of sharps container care, including proper placement, transportation, recycling and disposal.
AMS Med Waste can help solve your sharps waste needs with our sharps container and disposal services. Contact us today to learn more.