Whether you've been put on multiple daily insulin injections or you're dispensing chemotherapy injections at home, you will have disposable needles to take care of. In the medical community, these are referred to as sharps, and they are a biohazard. You have to make sure that you dispose of sharps correctly to ensure compliance with local laws and to protect against public health issues. Here's a look at a few things you need to know about sharps disposal.
Sharps Containers Are Available At Your Local Pharmacy
When you think of sharps containers, you likely think of those containers that mount to the wall in your doctor's office. This isn't the only type of sharps disposal container that there is. In fact, there are smaller containers intended for residential sharps disposal. You can buy them at the local pharmacy and, when they're full, you can seal them closed. They are crafted from solid, firm plastic that protects against puncture hazards.
Sharps Containers Still Need Proper Disposal
Even if you invest in sharps containers for your home, it's important for you to look into your local regulations about actual disposal. In some places, you can dispose of a full sharps container in your household garbage provided that you tape the lid closed. In other places, the full container must be taped and then delivered to a local sharps disposal or public health center. Check with your local department of health for more information about proper disposal in your area.
Ask About Residential Containers For Sharps Disposal
If you aren't able to get ahold of proper sharps containers, you should ask your local health department about what types of residential containers are acceptable for sharps disposal. For example, sometimes metal coffee cans are acceptable, but you should be sure before you opt for an alternative to the proper disposal containers.
Avoid Over-Filling Containers
Especially if you are paying for your sharps containers yourself, you may be tempted to stuff as many needles into each container as you can. Unfortunately, over-filling a sharps container can increase your risk of needle sticks, which can be a health hazard. Consider disposing of your containers before they are completely full. That way, you don't risk running out of room in the container.
These are some of the most important things to know when you're dealing with needle use and disposal in your home. Talk with your doctor or local disposal—such as Metro Detroit Medical Waste—about the best possible solutions for your sharps disposal.