For many people, interaction with sharps has become very common nowadays. As the name says, sharps are a biomedical waste that includes any object or tool that can pierce or puncture your skin. It should be duly noted that sharps are considered biohazardous medical waste and thus are dangerous to all humans and animals. Hence, it is no surprise that they should be handled and disposed of carefully by first collecting them in specially made medical sharps containers and then disposing of them cautiously. Moreover, it is recommended that for the disposal of these kinds of biohazardous medical waste, a machine that not only sterilizes it but shreds it as well should be used.
The most common sharps waste includes used needles and syringes; disposable blades, razor, scalpels; broken glass; microscopic slides; some particular medical tubes; and any other sharp objects or tools.
The necessity of Proper Sharps Disposal
Sharps are considered to be such hazardous medical wastes not just because they can pierce the skin but also because they are easy carriers of different dangerous bacterias and pathogens. This fusion of transporter and piercer makes it more dangerous for everyone. Hence, it is the most dangerous biohazardous waste generated in the medical industry, and such, its safe disposal is also one of the most important considerations while working with the healthcare industry.
As it would have been guessed by now that most medical sharps waste is generated from the injections given to patients. Unfortunately, this practice can also be not avoided as vaccinations play an important role in preventing and healing a lot of diseases. Moreover, many infections like HIV, Hepatitis, etc. can easily come from the improper management of sharps wastes. Even some of the issues that seem insignificant initially may lead to serious infections like using improper medical sharps containers. Sharps can easily pierce a lot of trash bags and infect the person carrying it. Hence, handling and disposal of sharps waste need some of the most advanced equipment.
Sharps Waste Disposal: A Two-Step Process
Step-1: After using the sharps, immediately place it in the correct disposal container.
There are two types of containers available for sharps disposal, the reusable and the disposable containers. The reusable containers are made from metal or hard plastic while the other ones are made from plastic or plasticized cardboard. Furthermore, the lids to all the containers are tightly closed making it difficult to take the disposed of sharp out of them.
Also, to prevent damaging the container, it should be always kept in mind to dispose of the waste or the container once it is 75% full.
Step-2: Disposing of the used sharps containers.
Different guidelines are available for different states for proper disposal of medical wastes. You must be aware of the local and federal guidelines issued for the waste disposal. Also, in case, you wish to save your time and effort, you can contact your nearest and trusted medical waste disposal company. They are well-versed with the guidelines and follow them to dispose of your medical waste properly. Many hospitals or medical facilities consider this option.
There are other waste disposal options as well, like autoclave, or high-temperature incineration method. Using them depends on how hazardous is the waste category. Many companies even provide special waste disposal services that handle your waste professionally and properly.
As sharps disposal are the most dangerous biohazardous waste, it is necessary to handle it very carefully. Improper disposal of sharps may cause serious damages to all humans or animals. Once these sharps are used, they are disposed of in specially made medical sharps containers, immediately. Then these containers or the waste in it is disposed of using various methods like autoclaving, incineration, or even machinery to sterilize and shred the waste. These methods are used according to the nature of the waste, like if it is hazardous or bio-hazardous or non-hazardous.