Proper Sharps Needle Disposal in Maryland

Proper Sharps Needle Disposal in Maryland compressed

Maryland Needle Disposal CompanyEvery form of medical waste requires special handling, whether it’s gauze used to wrap a fresh wound or cultures containing infectious agents. Sharps and needles are a little more sensitive to manage as it takes only one pinprick to spread potentially harmful bloodborne pathogens and viruses. The dangers associated with sharps and needle waste are why the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requires a specific container in all facilities that work with:

    • Needles

    • Syringes/Retractable syringes

    • Lancets

    • Infusion sets

    • Auto-injectors

    • Connection needle/threat

To reduce the risk of harm while handling these materials, professionals need to work with a waste management company for proper sharps and need disposal in Maryland.

Needlesticks and Sharps Injuries by the Numbers

Every medical facility that utilizes needles and sharps in Maryland is outfitted with a thick plastic red container. This FDA-approved receptacle is the safest way for healthcare professionals to dispose of used needles. Despite the waste management protocols, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that there are, on average, over 380,000 reported needlestick and sharps injuries each year. Among those 380,000 incidents, the CDC has found that nurses make up approximately 53% of all needle and sharps-related injuries.

There have been calls for safer medical devices, such as blunt-tip microcannula, that reduce the potential for harm to the professional. Per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the implementation of safer needles could potentially reduce sharps and needle-related injuries by at least 62%. Unfortunately, facilities are still using sharp-tipped needles, meaning professionals still need to adhere to all modern regulations pertaining to sharps needle waste removal.

Proper Sharps Needle Disposal Handling

The most important way to reduce accidental needlesticks is by properly disposing of them. Secure Waste adheres to all modern state and federal regulations to safely remove all used and potentially hazardous materials. However, the process does start well before our waste removal experts arrive.

The FDA-approved containers are available in multiple sizes to accommodate large and small practices. While the CDC does not require the container to be within a specific distance, its guidance states they should be placed “as close as possible” or “within arm’s reach.” Containers should be wall-mounted or secured to a table to prevent spills. Even if one is more convenient than the approved container, sharps and needles should never be disposed of in a general-use garbage bin.

You can increase your safety around sharps and needles by following the below recommendations and guidelines:

    • Keep your hands and fingers out of approved sharps containers

    • Do not try to fix any needle that may have punctured the container

    • Do not try to recap or bend used needles

    • Immediately report needlesticks and sharps injuries

What If I Am Injured by a Needle or Sharp?

Even with proper care, accidents happen. If you’re stuck by a used needle or cut by a sharp object:

    • Immediately wash the affected site with soap and warm water

    • Report the incident on your facility’s “Exposure Report Sheet”
      • Be thorough and accurate in your reporting

        • Note whether the patient is HIV, HBV, or HCV positive

    • Alert management to the injury

Per CDC guidelines, immediate medical treatment is necessary for any needle or sharp injury to determine the extent of the potential exposure. OSHA has also set a Bloodborne Pathogen Standard (29 CFR 1910.1030) that regulates methods of protecting healthcare professionals from bloodborne pathogens. The standard governs the actions of employers when their employees are exposed to blood and bodily fluids.

Trained Sharps and Needles Disposal

All of this is exactly why organizations like the CDC, OSHA, FDA, and even the Department of Transportation (DOT) enacted regulations at every stage of the sharps and needles handling process. Needles and sharps can be extremely hazardous and improper handling puts medical professionals at risk of coming into contact with deadly pathogens.

Secure Waste follows are required and recommended training, including DOT-mandated training regarding the storage and transport of these materials. From providing the sharps and needles containers to helping healthcare professionals get comfortable with proper sharps disposal, the Secure Waste crew is there through every stage.

 Secure Waste will pass down much of this training to medical facilities to help develop a comprehensive sharps and needles management plan that’s cost-saving, thorough, and efficient.  We aim to promote crucial sharps and needles management as, per the Environmental Protection Agency, improperly handling and disposing of these materials can pose a health risk to the public.

To hear about how Secure Waste can handle your sharps and needle waste removal, contact us for more information.

Maryland Needle Disposal Company


Recent Posts