Hospital workers are always in danger of contracting deadly diseases since they work closely with sharps that would contaminate blood borne diseases. Hence, it’s a requirement for hospital employers to make sure that each one their workers follow correct sharps disposal guidelines to take care of workplace safety and health. So if you are planning to be a doctor or any other healthcare professional, or wishing to take UCAT courses this year, you will learn a lot about sharps disposal in this article.
However, not only health care workers are in danger of compromising their health as a results of mishandling and improper disposal of medical sharps. Even folk are likewise in danger of contracting serious medical illnesses since almost anyone can use sharps reception. Used sharps may contain blood borne pathogens like HIV, AIDS, hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus, among more. Due to this, prompt and proper disposal of medical needles or sharps is extremely necessary to stop spread of said diseases. In developed and underdeveloped countries, proper disposal of sharps is practiced to make sure the health of not only workers but patients also.
Sharps containers play an important role in proper and sanitary disposal of sharps. Health organizations round the world share an equivalent standards for sharps containers. In Australia, all sharps containers should be:
• Made of industrial quality plastic
• Leak-resistant (side and bottom part)
• Able to shut with a tight-itting, puncture-proof lid, and without sharps being overfilled
• Upright and stable during utilization
• Properly labeled and colored
Aspiring UCAT courses students should know that while each hospital’s guidelines and policies on proper handling and disposal of sharps may vary, they nearly always share equivalent concepts. Basically, what’s important in handling and disposal of medical sharps is that they can’t cut or puncture individuals. Below are a number of the more specific guidelines or dos and don’ts commonly followed by medical facilities round the world not excluding Australia.
• Do use sharps containers that are approved to AS4031/92 (for disposable containers) – Australian Standard.
• Do use sharps containers that are properly labeled and have the colour like its use.
• Do use proper alternative container just in case you don’t have industry-standard container (in case of household use and disposal).
• Do bring an industry-standard portable sharps container if you’re happening a travel for medical purposes.
• Do contact your local public health agency to be told about proper sharps disposal program in your area.
• Do obey your local public health agency’s guidelines on proper disposal of sharps like medical needles and IV catheters.
• Do ask your health care provider, physician, licensed nurse, or local hospital about where to get sharps container in case you would need one for household use.
• Do properly label sharps containers before disposing them, and make sure that they are tightly sealed, following guidelines provided by your local public health agency or local trash disposal agency.
• Do contact the company that produced your sharps container in case it has some issues
• Do not put sharps container where children and pets could reach
• Do not use an alternative container that do not have the same characteristics as an industry-standard container
• Do not deviate from proper sharps disposal prescribed by your local public health office
• Do not loose needles and other sharps into the trash
• Do not flush sharps down the toilet
• Do not put sharps in recycling bin
• Do not remove the needle without using a needle clipper
• Do not remove, bend, or break needles that were already used by another person
• Do not share needles with anyone
Since any person who uses sharps is at risk of contracting blood borne diseases, it is vital for anyone to learn even the most basic information about proper disposal of sharps. In order to prevent diseases associated with improper handling and disposal of sharps, make sure to follow the above mentioned dos and don’ts.