Dealing with sharps is a hassle, there’s no doubt about it. As more and more people have the need to use injected medications every day, more and more people face the challenge of managing and disposing of needles and other sharps. Fortunately, there are options available, including sharps mail back programs.
Who Uses Sharps?
The most common type of sharp that people deal with is the insulin needle. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are 347 million people worldwide who have diabetes, and for those with type 1 diabetes, insulin shots are usually required, often several times a day. In addition to this, there are people with allergies who carry “epi pens” and people who require other injectable medications for pain and management of chronic illness. As a result, sharps are not just prevalent in healthcare facilities anymore, but also in schools, day care facilities and workplaces.
The Dangers of Sharps
A needle, lancet, piece of broken glass from a needle or other medical “sharp” comes with dangers. Obviously, the sharp object could cut or stab someone, either the user or someone else. If someone other than the user gets cut or stabbed by the object, they could be exposed to any medication left in it, which is very dangerous for people who don’t need the medication. If the sharp object had already been used before it cut someone else, it could have traces of blood from the previous person, which could lead to the transference of blood-borne pathogens like hepatitis and AIDS. Visit Sharps Assure for more information.
Since sharps are so dangerous, they need to be disposed of carefully. The ideal method is a “sharps box”, which accepts the sharp object through a slot or tray and cannot be opened, essentially locking the sharp away safely. The boxes come in different sizes and shapes, but they are usually red and marked with a medical hazard symbol. The trick is that the boxes cannot be just thrown in the trash—they need to go to a medical waste disposal facility. This can be difficult to find or arrange, which why the ideal situation is a sharps mail back program, wherein you simply drop the sharps box in the mail in special packaging and the supplier takes care of disposal.
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