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Your Guide to Sharps Management and Injury Prevention

In accordance with the  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 385,000 needlesticks and related sharps injuries happen each year in the healthcare setting. Most sharps, especially needles, are designed to penetrate human skin and therefore often become contaminated with blood. Blood may contain various pathogens, such as hepatitis B virus, HIV and other dangerous substances.

Your  facility likely has a sharps management program. to prevent your medical personnel from contracting these diseases, But how effective is it ? Our Glycon LLC medial waste removal company provides sharps disposal services for numerous local hospitals, nursing homes and doctor’s offices. Here are a few tips to help you fine-tune your approach to sharps management and reduce the risk of needlestick injuries among your employees.

What Are Sharps?

Sharps  are mainly  any medical tools or devices that can puncture skin and would likely puncture a regular medical waste bag. Sharps may include such items as:

Needles and syringes, IV needles, Scalpel blades, Lancets, Insulin pens and other auto-injectors, Broken or fragile glass.

Always remember that these items become regulated medical waste only when they are contaminated with blood, which is what most of them are used for. Glass vials, ampules, tubes and slides may also become sharp if they break. If they are contaminated with blood, they should also be treated as sharps and disposed of accordingly.

Disposable vs. Reusable Sharps: Mainly, sharps used in medical facilities are the disposable kind. However, certain sharp items such as scalpels and similar tools may be reusable. While using  reusable sharps in your facility, make sure they are collected in a separate container and are properly disinfected in an autoclave or through a different method.

Sharps Collection: Disposable sharps, after having been used, should be  immediately placed in a designated disposable sharps container. This  lower the risk of a sharp item being dropped on the floor or coming in contact with another person. Sharps containers are specially designed for sharps management and feature a wide enough opening for large objects, as well as a built-in mechanism for unhooking needles. GLYCON LLC supplies sharps containers for both large and small-volume sharps generators.

Only you decide  where to  place your sharps containers, but it’s best when they are always available at the point of waste generation. The least distance your staff has to cover to drop the sharps waste in a container, the better.

What NOT to Do

  • Don’t throw sharps in the trash or in biohazard bags.
  • Don’t bend needles and other thin sharp objects to try to make them fit into a container.
  • Don’t overfill the sharps disposal container.
  • Don’t try to recap a needle.
  • Don’t pass a sharp object to another person unless absolutely necessary.

Sharps Injury Reduction

If you tend  to reduce the number of sharps-related injuries in your facility, one of the possible solutions is to reduce the number of sharps. This may sound silly at first,  but when you use it may be possible to substitute a sharp tool with another tool that does the job equally well. For example, certain medications may be available to be administered orally instead of intravenously. Otherwise, a blunt-edge needle may be used instead of a sharp-edge needle.

Medical equipment and supplies have  greatly developed  over the past decade in terms of safety features. If you try to upgrade your equipment, you will manage  to reduce the staff needle stick injuries in a noticeable manner. Think of carrying out  the following:

  • Syringes with needles that retract
  • Safety ampule breakers
  • Unbreakable plastic blood collection tubes
  • Knives with integrated retractable shields

Do you want to find  a reliable medical waste management service to take care of your sharps waste? Give us a call (844) 494-8222 and we’ll be happy to help!

Biohazardous Medical Waste Containers

When it comes to medical waste, each subcategory has its own regulations for being properly disposed of. Biohazardous medical waste containers requires special attention to ensure it is properly disposed in compliance with state and federal regulations.
Four types of biohazardous wastes exist, each of which need to be treated uniquely when disposing.

Solid Biohazardous Waste

Solid biohazardous waste consists of non-sharp items that came in contact with human or animal specimen materials—such as tissues or bodily fluids. This might include petri dishes, personal protective equipment, and towels.
Container: This type of waste should be collected in a designated container with a lid that is lined with an autoclave bag and marked with the biohazard symbol.

Liquid Biohazardous Waste

Liquid biohazardous waste consists mainly of bloody and bodily fluids that could be contaminated with infectious agents.
Container: All liquid biohazardous waste must be collected in leak-proof containers secured against tipping over and labeled as biohazard. Additionally, the primary liquid containers can be placed in a secondary vessel—such as a tray or bucket.

Sharp Biohazardous Waste

Sharp biohazardous waste (also referred to as sharps) consists of any medical device  that came in contact with potentially infectious biological material that is sharp enough to puncture the skin.
Container: Sharps containers are designed to be puncture-resistant, leak-proof, and safe to handle. Regardless of biohazard status, all sharps are collected in such containers, but biohazardous sharps should be labeled with a corresponding symbol.

Pathological Biohazardous Waste

Pathological waste includes removed human (or animal) organs, tissues, and body parts that have been exposed to infectious agents.
Container: To prevent potential leaks, pathological waste should be double-bagged and stored similarly to liquid waste in secondary containers.

Get a free quote from us. Just fill in the form below to get an estimate on the cost of services or give us a call at  +1 (844) 494-8222;  +1 (818) 855-2333

MEDICAL SHARPS RECYCLING TIPS

Just as people who recycle know, it can be time consuming and confusing to learn the rules for what can and cannot be recycled and how to recycle those materials. Sometimes, it can feel easier to throw everything out. However, recycling is important, especially for environmentally hazardous waste. The same goes for medical disposal services. The tips mentioned here focus on recycling sharp medical waste.

Recycling Sharp Medical Waste

  • Follow established guidelines for disposing of sharp medical waste. Your professional organizations should have policy on what qualifies as sharp medical waste in different healthcare fields.
  • Wrap or otherwise product sharp medical waste before placing it into the sharps disposal container. Needles or equipment with jagged edges could puncture the bags. This could actually allow other hazardous medical waste to escape its’ original container.
  • Another risk of not wrapping sharp medical waste appropriately is that it can release pathogens in an uncontrolled environment such as HIV, hepatitis B, or tetanus.
  • Never place sharp medical waste directly into the red disposal bags. This can cause injury when someone is pushing the bag down.
  • Do not overfill the sharp waste container. If the container is filled too high and someone else opens it to stick something sharp in the container, they could puncture their skin.
  • ONLY put sharp medical waste into the sharp waste containers. Sometimes, the sharp waste is next to filled with drugs, chemicals, or mercury. A medical waste company will not separate these materials from the sharp waste once it has been put together. These chemicals are hazardous and should be recycled in specified containers.
  • Chemical waste that is not recycled appropriately may be released into the environment inadvertently as sharp waste and chemical waste are dealt with in different processes.
  • If you move to a different medical location, you should not worry about taking your waste or getting rid of it. It should be picked up at the existing location.
  • You should ensure that your medical waste company has a permit to deal with whatever waste they are collecting. It is your responsibility to verify this.
Share medical waste that is not recycled correctly poses risks to healthcare workers and the general public. Prevent this risk and learn more about our procedure for disposing of sharp medical waste by getting in contact with us.