Don’t be in pins and needles: Biohazard Sharps Containers
Only a doctor – and maybe a post-hardcore rock band – would look at Biohazard Multipurpose Sharps Containers and say “found a box of sharp objects, what a beautiful thing.” But why wouldn’t a healthcare professional be happy to have a product that can protect them from not only pointy, but also potentially contaminated items? After all Biohazard, like Anthrax, is not just the name of a heavy metal band; the term mainly refers to biological entities that present a threat to the health of living things, especially humans. That is why immediate disposal of used needles into a sharps container is standard medical safety procedure. Other examples of sharps include syringes, lancets, scalpel blades, vacutainer tubes, phlebotomy needles with vacutainer tube holders attached, capillary tubes, IV catheters, and more.
· Designed for use in restricted access areas.
· Nestable containers save space and help reduce shipping costs.
· Non-torturous lid design accommodates a variety of sharps sizes.
· Horizontal drop maximizes use of container volume.
· Containers lock for final disposal and safe transport.
· Brackets available to mount containers to wall and free up counter space.
Proper disposal of medical sharps can help healthcare workers reduce the risk of needle stick injuries and exposure to infectious diseases like HIV and hepatitis B and C. Not to say that Biohazard Multipurpose Sharps Containers help prevent environmental disasters such as the New York/New Jersey Syringe Tide of ‘87-‘88.
The biggest drawback of working with sharps – even if disposing of them in a sharps container – is the risk of pricking oneself on a contaminated syringe. In real life, Principal Skinner’s advice to “just keep working, you'll prick yourself with the antidote sooner or later” simply will not do. Fortunately, any healthcare professional can take safety measures to avoid such a sticky situation, as seen below.
The Food and Drug Administration “recommends that used needles and other sharps be immediately placed in FDA-cleared sharps disposal containers. FDA-cleared sharps disposal containers are generally available through pharmacies, medical supply companies, health care providers, and online.” The agency also advises not to attempt to remove, bend, break, or recap needles used by another person – which can result in accidental needle sticks and potentially lead to serious infections – or try to remove the needle without a needle clipper because the needle could fall, fly off, or get lost and injure someone. Finally, the FDA recommends follow local guidelines to dispose of sharps containers when they are ¾ full, since overfilling increases the risk of injury. Such community guidelines include:
· Drop box or supervised collection sites.
· Household hazardous waste collection sites.
· Mail-back programs.
· Residential special waste pick-up services.
Never ever discard loose needles in the trash, flush them down the toilet, or put them in a recycling bin