Dealing with medical waste is one of the burning issues in the healthcare industry. Hazardous medical waste, including sharps, can be harmful to humans, animals, and the environment if there is any exposure.
Sharps are some of the sharp objects that health professionals use for treating patients, such as hypodermic needles, syringes, lancets, and scalpels. These items can puncture, cut, or stab the skin and should not be thrown in a regular trash bin.
Healthcare authorities must dispose of sharps properly by using a sharps container approved by the US Food and Drug Administration or FDA.
The FDA advises healthcare authorities to immediately place used needles and other sharps items in FDA-approved sharps disposal containers.
FDA-approved sharps containers are usually available through medical supply companies, pharmacies, online, and a medical waste disposal company.
All sharps containers should have the following features:
When the sharps disposal container is nearly three-quarters (3/4th) full, follow your respective state guidelines for proper waste disposal.
The FDA has assessed the safety and efficiency of these containers and has approved them for sharps disposal to reduce the risk of injury and infections.
Besides being made with robust quality plastic, FDA-approved sharps containers are marked with a line indicating the container has reached its capacity and is ready for disposal.
Here are a few examples of FDA-approved sharps containers:
These FDA-approved sharps containers are available in different sizes, including smaller containers that are suitable while traveling away from home.
You can find a list of products and organizations that supply FDA-approved sharps containers here.
If an FDA-approved sharps container is not available, some community guidelines suggest using a heavy-duty plastic container as an option.
The container must be leak-resistant, puncture-resistant, tight-fit, and should stay upright during use.
If there is a shortage of FDA-approved sharps containers, preserve some of them to avoid further crisis.
Also, your health facility can use OSHA-approved containers as alternatives after checking the specific regulations of your respective state at SafeNeedleDisposal.org. Subsequently, you can discuss the disposal options with your medical waste disposal vendor.
Once the FDA-approved sharps container is full, your health facility should try the following safe methods for waste disposal.
After the sharps container is filled, your healthcare staff can take it to an appropriate collection site, including medical waste facilities, community organizations, health departments, police, and fire stations.
The services may be free, or there is a nominal fee. These programs are available in the states such as Florida, California, Michigan, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New York, New Jersey, and Wisconsin.
Dropping the sharps container at the sites designated for biohazardous collection is another way to dispose of sharps safely. Check with a local waste disposal service provider to know if they collect sharps at these sites.
Next, put the used needles and other sharps items in an FDA-approved sharps container, transport the container to the waste collection site, and leave it in the sharps collection bin.
Mail-back programs are another sharps disposal method where an FDA-approved sharps container is placed in a shipping container and mailed (according to the regulations of the US Postal Service) to a collection site. This service generally involves a fee, which may vary depending on the container size.
It is important healthcare facilities follow the manufacturer’s guidelines that come with the disposal container, as such programs may have certain requirements regarding mail-back.
One of the most effective and hassle-free ways to dispose of sharps waste is partnering with a well-known local medical waste management service provider. The company can provide FDA-approved sharps containers for medical waste storing, transporting, and disposing of the waste.
No matter if you have a small medical clinic, a mid-size surgery center, or a large hospital, an efficient medical waste disposal company can take care of all the aspects of waste management. They will also help your healthcare facility to comply with all the OSHA guidelines.
Safe disposal of sharps waste has become increasingly critical considering the risks of contamination and disease transmission.
As a reputable provider of medical waste and sharps container disposal services, DMI Solutions helps healthcare organizations adhere to state and federal regulations.
For more details regarding our services, call us at +1 800-455-7747. You can also write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will be happy to help you
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