Without the proper protocol and education, the medical field can be a dangerous place. This is especially true when it comes to using and disposing of syringes, needles, or scalpels—also known as “sharps.” In addition to proper handling during use, one extremely important step for the safety of everyone involved is proper sharps disposal.
What’s Required for Proper Disposal of Sharps in a Punctured Resistant Retainer
What Constitutes a “Sharp”?
A sharp is anything with a rigid edge that can cut, stab, or puncture. They are quite common in the medical field and can include everything from syringes and needles to scalpels and surgical knives.
What Is Improper Sharp Disposal?
Many medical facilities might simply throw their used needles into cardboard boxes for their bio-hazard waste management company to then pick up and properly dispose of. This is extremely dangerous. If these items are not properly packaged for disposal, it puts everyone in contact with those boxes at risk. Should the needle, syringe, or scalpel cut or poke through its box, a driver or other member of the medical waste management company could be cut. This poses two equally serious concerns. One, the driver could be injured from the cut itself, and two, the individual could be exposed to any number of diseases, pathogens, or viruses from blood or other organic material on that scalpel or needle.
If your facility has used sharps that need to be disposed of, for the safety of your doctors and everyone else in contact with the waste, proper disposal methods must be used.
What Is Proper Sharp Disposal?
All sharps should be put in puncture-resistant sharp containers. These containers can then be put in regulated medical waste containers for a safe pickup. These puncture-resistant sharps containers can be obtained from a number of providers.
If your facility works with a medical waste management company, you should be able to purchase them from that company. Sometimes labs can also provide them.
If you’re working with a reputable full-service waste management company, they should be able to either provide these puncture-resistant containers or let you know your other options in terms of purchasing.
Don’t forget that your medical waste management company is not just there to pick up your boxes of biomedical and hazardous waste at the end of every month. They’re also a great source of information. If you ever have any questions about safety or disposal protocol of any medical waste, they are one of the first places to turn.
Do Your Part
It’s easy to think that once you hire a medical waste management company, you don’t have much to do in terms of disposing of your material. However, there are still lots of regulations and rules you must follow in packaging that waste. It’s putting needles and scalpels in puncture-resistant containers. It’s only putting proper material in red bag waste containers. It’s checking to ensure the company you work with is properly licensed for transport and disposal of hazardous and/or biomedical waste.
These medical waste management services are there to help everyone be safe, but medical facilities must play their parts by informing themselves and complying with safety regulations.
For more information about how to safely dispose of all needles, scalpels, and knives and where to purchase proper disposal equipment, please contact a representative of MCF Environmental Services a professional waste management company.