How to Safely Dispose of Sharps
When you're administering fertility medications at home, you may be handling needles, syringes, lancets, and other medical devices with sharp points (also known as sharps). These devices should always be handled with extra care and discarded after each use. However, it is essential that you know "how" to safely dispose of them before doing so.
We'll walk you through some basic "best practices" for disposing of sharps at home or at the office.
The FDA provides guidance on the safe handling (use and disposal) of injection materials likes needles and syringes, whether at home or on the go. As well as links to other helpful materials.
Safe Disposal of Sharps 101
Believe it or not, depending on the state you live in, you may have different requirements for sharps disposal. This means that not every state follows the same guidelines, so it's very important that you learn the requirements of your state, so you can ensure that your sharps are disposed properly.
We recommend you first visit safeneedledisposal.org to find your state for further information. You can either enter your zip code at the top of the page or select which state you live in from the map of the United States.
Most states will recommend you dispose of medical needles and other sharps inside an empty container with a resealable lid. Avoid using a plastic milk carton or plastic liter of soda bottle, as these are not strong enough to prevent needles from puncturing through, thereby causing a safety hazard.
It's best practice to fill up a single container vs. disposing multiple sharps in various containers, as these can create more waste.
Next, you'll want to properly seal the top of your container. Make sure the lid is on tight and use duct tape or another adhesive tape to securely seal the top on. Also, be sure to label the container.
Depending on which state you live in, you may be able to leave your container with your trash outside; however, you want to avoid mixing this item in with your recyclables. In fact, safeneedledisposal.org recommends you write "Not Recyclable" on the label to avoid confusion. If your state does not allow you to leave your container with the rest of your trash outside, it's likely they'll offer locations to drop off centers, where you can go to leave your filled container of sharps. Just be sure to follow the storing instructions above.
Why Is Safe Sharps Disposal So Important?
Sharps are used to administer medication for certain conditions or treatments. It's important that you keep yourself and others protected by avoiding a potential safety hazard, such as your needle pricking another individual. This is why you should NEVER just dispose of your sharps in a plastic garbage bag. This could seriously injure another individual, and it also can expose them to certain chemicals, blood, viruses, and germs that can be harmful.
Whether you're at home, at work, or traveling on holiday, remember to safely dispose of your sharps! If you have questions about how to dispose of your sharps safely, contact our team today. As a speciality fertility pharmacy, we're here to help you stay informed and receive the support you need throughout your journey.
At Mandell's, we're always here for you!