Medical Waste Disposal

Proper sharps disposal using sharp container disposal is of utmost importance, as one accidental prick can lead to the transmission of a deadly disease. Below, all queries related to sharps and disposal of sharps container are answered.

What are sharps?

Sharps include all those tools or instruments used in the medical or health care field, which are, as the name indicates, sharp or have a pointed tip, and have the tendency to puncture or cut the skin. The sharps play a significant role in different ind ustries, especially the field of health care, whether it is a blade of a scalpel or a syringe. These sharps are classified as biomedical waste and labeled as biohazardous. If not disposed of properly, they can be misused, leading to the emergence of deadly diseases in the human population. Medically contaminated sharps can pose a threat to both humans and animals. Luckily, there are sharp containers that help in the prevention of this problem.

What are sharp containers?

These containers are discarding boxes that are specifically made for the disposal of medically contaminated sharps. They are mostly red and are labeled with the universal biohazard sign. Sharp containers are designed in such a way that they can safely store the contaminated sharps. Nowadays, there is a high rise in the usage of sharps. Especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, their demand has up surged. This is why paying attention to how they are disposed of is very important. The sharp containers also prevent the spilling of contaminated liquids.

What are the advantages of sharp containers?

  • Reduces risk of disease spread
  • Environmental safe
  • Reusable
  • Serves as perfect storage of contaminated sharps
  • Easy to use

Why is the disposal of sharps important?

If a medically contaminated sharp comes in contact with any body fluid, such as blood, it can transmit the disease from that sharp to the person it came in contact with. This is why; it is of utmost importance that every sharp must be disposed of properly. Sharps can be termed as one of the most dangerous biomedical wastes. The hospitals should pay the most attention to the disposal of sharps, where these sharps are used in high quantities and daily. Therefore, every clinic and medical facility must ensure that their medically contaminated sharps are properly disposed of so that their incoming patients can be saved from spreading any blood-borne infection or disease.

Are sharps containers reusable?

The demand for reusable sharps containers is increasing daily, particularly in medical facilities. Previously, there were sharp containers that could be utilized once. But now, the trend has changed, and computer-controlled sharp containers have been introduced, facilitating the economic and safer reuse of sharp containers. These computer-controlled containers also require no human interference, which is no human contact is involved. This trend of reusable containers first stemmed in the metropolitan area of New York, where now more than ninety percent of hospitals are using sharp reusable containers.

How long a reusable sharp container can be used?

The word ‘reusable’ indicates that the sharp container will first be unloaded. It will then be washed as per the regulations and will be prepared to be used again. An organized method is strictly needed to maintain these reusable containers. This entire cycle of making the container reusable can continue as long as it fulfills the FDA rules and regulations and is not damaged.

What can be put in a sharp container?

  • Broken glass
  • Medical scissors
  • Scalpel
  • Insulin pens
  • Infusion sets
  • Lancets
  • Syringes

Correct ways of sharps disposal:

  • An eye should be kept on any issue or problem linked to the container.
  • When disposing of sharp containers, they should be properly sealed and labeled.
  • Every sharp container should be placed in such a position that no child or animal should be able to reach it.
  • Contact your local public health division to get information on the methods they use to dispose of the sharp containers.
  • While traveling, a portable container to dispose of sharps should be carried.
  • Always an FDA-approved sharp container should be used.

Wrong ways of sharps disposal

  • A needle clipper should not be used to remove needles as the needle could fly off and harm someone.
  • Sharps and needles in no way should be flushed down the toilet.
  • Sharps and needles should not be thrown away recklessly.

DIY sharp containers

It is very easy to make your own sharp container at home if a hospital-provided container is unavailable. A bottle made of hard plastic can be used for this purpose, such as a liquid detergent bottle. The cap of the bottle must be able to close tightly. The bottle should be hard enough that no sharp present inside it could puncture or poke through the bottle. The bottle should be able to stand still on surfaces, and also should not leak.

Which sharps containers are approved by the FDA?

Following are the sharp containers which re-approved by the FDA to be used:

  • Sharps Disposal Containers with Screw Top Caps, manufactured by Sage Products, Incorporation
  • Sharps Disposal Containers, manufactured by Bemis Manufacturing Company
  • Chemotherapy Sharps Disposal Containers, manufactured by Baxter Healthcare Corporation
  • Baxter One Gallon Sharps Disposal Containers, manufactured by Baxter Healthcare Corporation
  • Phlebotomy Sharps Disposal Containers, manufactured by Sage Products Incorporation
  • Chemotherapy Waste Disposal Containers, manufactured by Sage Products Incorporation
  • Baxter Two Gallon Sharps Disposal Containers, manufactured by Baxter Healthcare Corporation

Where to purchase a sharp container?

A medical waste disposal company must be the priority to buy a sharp container from. These containers can be purchased online or through call. Another option to buy sharp containers from Universal Waste Management. But the problem is that only some medical stores keep these containers, and only a few in some areas are licensed to keep them.

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