Sharps Containers, Sharps Disposal Resources

Sharps Containers (also referred to as Sharps Disposal Containers, Medical Waste Disposal Containers, Biomedical Waste Disposal Containers, etc.) are specially made containers used to contain hazardous "piercing" instruments and reduce the chance of spreading infection. It is standard practice in developed and even underdeveloped countries for used needles to be placed immediately into a sharps container after a single use, with only a few exceptions to the general rule. Needles are dropped into the container without touching the outside of the container. Needles should never be pushed or forced into the container, as damage to the container and/or needlestick injuries may result. Proper use of a sharps container includes pick up by or delivery to an approved "red bag" or medical waste treatment site. In addition to this pre-existing safety measure, all U.S. medical and educational staff are federally required to be tested on their knowledge of bloodborne pathogens.

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What are Sharps Containers?

A sharps container is a term for a specially-made container that is predominantly used for medical needles and any other sharp medical instruments, such as an IV catheter. They are available in one of two types:

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Single-use sharps containers:

Single-use sharps containers are disposed of along with the waste inside. or reusable in which case they are robotically emptied and sterilized before being returned for re-use.

Reusable sharps containers:

Reusable sharps containers are robotically emptied and sterilized before being returned for re-use.

What does the term 'Sharps' mean?

Sharps is the term used to describe any item that is capable of puncturing the skin such as syringes, needles, lancets, broken glass with blood on it, scalpels, etc. Because these 'sharps' potentially have disease-carrying blood or other potentially infectious materials on them, they are capable of 'injecting' that blood or fluid into anyone who comes in contact with them. Examples of sharps include:

What type of regulated medical waste belongs in a Sharps Disposal Container?

Home self-injectors only need to worry about proper disposal of their sharps.

For regulated businesses, such as healthcare faculties, in addition to sharps, regulated medical waste is defined by OSHA as:

*OPIM: semen, vaginal secretions; fluids from around the spine, brain, joints, lungs, heart, and abdomen; saliva in a dental procedure; any body fluid with visible blood; any unidentifiable body fluid; and unfixed tissue.

Examples of non-sharps regulated medical waste include Tubing with blood in it and Blood-soaked gauze. Regulated medical waste does not include urine, feces, sputum, sweat, tears, or saliva or any items containing or once containing these fluids such as urine cups, incontinence pads, or diapers.

Why is it important to use a Sharps Container?

It is standard practice in developed, and even underdeveloped countries for used needles to be placed immediately into a sharps container after a single use, with only a few exceptions to the general rule. Sharing needles is often the cause of AIDS(HIV) and other blood-borne infections spreading among intravenous drug users. For this same reason, it is extremely important to place used sharps into sharps container in order to prevent spreading infection from needlestick injuries to medical personnel.

What type and brand of sharps containers should I purchase?

When determining the specific type and brand of sharps containter to purchase you may be tempted to purchase some of the cheaper alternatives, but you should factor in the cost of sharps injury prevention for your facility beforehand. The CDC (Center for Disease Control) has created a simple workbook to design, implement, and evaluate your Sharps Injury Prevention Program. Here is a direct link to the workbook. Be sure to remember not only to pay attention to the direct cost of the containers but also to pay close attention to the indirect costs related to needlestick/sharps injury prevention, the estimate of costs of injuries of certain types of devices, and the comparison of costs of conventional devices to devices with safety features. You may find that the value provided by high quality sharps disposal containers with built-in safety features are well worth the cost.

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Sharps MD Medical Waste Disposal

Sharps MD, Inc. is a florida medical waste disposal company. In addition, they provide hundreds of products, and everything else you will need to implement your sharps recycling program. From their patented Shark Needle Destroyer which vaporizes needles at 3000 degrees F, to sharps containers in sizes from 1 pint to 18 gallons, latex gloves, biohazard bags and boxes, sharps by mail, and medication disposal.

Are you located near the Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Manatee, Hernando area? Sharps MD can pick up your old sharps, your medical waste, and your expired medicine for you! A SHARPS MD technician will scan all of your SHARPS and SHARK biomedical waste containers. The date, time, weight and final destination will be recorded and documented. And then the technician will issue you a certificate of disposal. Contact Sharps MD, Inc. today to find out how you can get started.

Call Toll Free 1-877-950-9222, or visit us online: Medical Waste Disposal in Florida, or here for Sharps Containers, Medical Waste Containers.

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Important Note: The content of this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Do not disregard your doctor's advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this website. Unless otherwise noted, Sharps MD Logo and all other trademarks are the property of Sharps MD, Inc.