Your business has needs when it comes to managing the waste streams produced by your facility. From medical waste disposal to document destruction, MedPro Disposal leads in the industry in compliant solutions that don’t break the bank.
Medical waste is broadly classified as any item that comes into contact with body fluids. Specifically, it is any solid waste that is generated in the diagnosis, treatment or immunization of humans. This type of waste was once collected in special bags and plastic boxes in clinical settings and then disposed of like normal trash. However, this process was quickly found to spread diseases and viruses and potentially cause outbreaks.
Today, the red biohazardous containers and bags seen throughout hospitals and doctors’ offices are used to safely remove sharps, needles, and IV catheters that contain any human blood or bodily fluid. Medical waste also includes paper towels, wipes, gloves, syringes without needles, bandages or dressings with small amounts of dry blood or fluid, and any other material from medical care. Syringes with needles or sharp objects that can pierce through a plastic bag require a special storage container for additional protection.
Biohazard Containers can safely contain used:
Medical Waste may include includes:
Still considered biohazardous and dangerous for the environment and the general population, this waste cannot be disposed of with everyday trash. Licensed medical waste management companies must collect the refuse and make it safe before recycling.
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Sharps disposal can be a tricky business. One needle stick can take a life, or deliver thousands in fines from the EPA or other government bodies. To make things worse, regulations are always in flux, and they can change drastically across state or even local lines.
The tendency is to “err on the side of caution.” Unfortunately, that can also send costs exploding through the roof.
Where’s the “sweet spot” for sharps disposal? In the waste disposal world, knowledge truly is power. Below, find answers to all your questions, from “What are sharps?” to sharps disposal best practices and more.
Image Via: Wikimedia Commons
Sharps can be defined as “any object that can cut or pierce the skin.” In the medical world, there’s an added element from potential contamination by bloodborne pathogens. Because this combination can spread disease, proper sharps disposal is a priority in any healthcare facility.
Here are some examples of sharps requiring special disposal in a sharps container:
The FDA recommends putting all sharps in a special sharps disposal container. After that’s done, there are three main disposal methods.
According to the NIH, proper sharps disposal can stem the spread of infectious bloodborne pathogens.
Data suggests that 16% of all occupational injuries in hospitals come from sharps.
Sharps injuries vastly increase the risk to hospital workers of diseases like Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV.
Proper sharps disposal eliminates or greatly reduces the risk of sticks and infection.
Improper sharps disposal carries hefty fines.
What are the different containers for sharps disposal? How many are there? What are the colors?
MedPro’s red sharps disposal containers come in several handy sizes. Each leakproof, puncture-resistant container comes with a prepaid mail-back shipping box, reducing waste disposal costs as much as 50%.
The NIH lists several principles for the safe disposal of sharps.
Healthcare staff should follow best practices for safe sharps handling and disposal. Important rules include handling sharps as little as possible, then immediately discarding them in a puncture-resistant, sealed container.
Sharps containers themselves are covered by several safe handling standards. Containers should be filled only to the “fill line,” closed between uses, and kept out of reach of the public.
Looking for local sharps disposal? MedPro Disposal offers cost-effective, reliable medical waste disposal, including sharps disposal. In 46 states, small and large medical waste generators alike are never far from convenient disposal of sharps and other biohazard waste. With more than 80 regional affiliate haulers, quick, reliable, cost-effective disposal is always right nearby.
Do you still have questions about sharps disposal?
MedPro has several informative blog posts about sharps.
Looking for sharps containers? Wondering what you can put in sharps containers, and what you can’t? Trying to figure out what to do with sharps from your home? MedPro’s blog is a wealth of disposal information.
Here’s a sampling of titles:
All sharps disposal companies are not created equal. Some carry different levels of insurance to protect their customers. Some hold their customers liable even while the waste is in transit. Certain companies levy much higher fees and charges for disposal. Some companies, meanwhile, offer waste disposal for as much as 50% less cost, with as much as $15 million in insurance to protect their clients.
The list below serves up a few questions to ask before you commit.
A sharps violation can cost even a small practice $70,000 or more. Fines can come from OSHA, the EPA, or other national or local government bodies. Almost all sharps violations are avoidable. All it takes is a little knowledge.
Here are some of the most common sharps disposal violations.
A needle stick from a sharp can let a bloodborne pathogen in under your body’s defenses. That said, sticks don’t always mean infection. There’s a plan to fall back on if you’re injured by a sharp.
If you get a needle stick or a cut from a sharp, the CDC advises taking the following steps without delay:
Sharps disposal is one of the most important duties of any healthcare worker. Proper disposal keeps us safe from bloodborne pathogens. Improper disposal opens us up to infection and hefty fines.
The key to staying safe from needle sticks and cuts is knowing what sharps are, and how to dispose of them. A reliable disposal company can carry the lion’s share of the sharps disposal burden.
A good partner can provide the sharps containers and systems that can keep your employees safe, and the training to ensure their proper use. A reliable waste disposal company like MedPro can do it all with $15 million in insurance, all at up to 50% less cost than other options.
Includes non-sharp items contaminated with any bodily fluids or biological material. For example: gloves, pipettes, towels, or culture.
Includes bulk quantities of blood or bodily fluids.
Includes any materials that can puncture or pierce through skin and is contaminated with biological material that can risk transmission or release to the environment. I.e: needles, syringes, scalpels, microscopic slides, small broken glass or tubes.