Sharps: Be Prepared, Be Aware and Dispose With Care

Coworkers should be prepared and aware of injury risks when it comes to using a sharps device.

It’s recommended to use a sharps device with safety features whenever its available and then engage the features immediately after use and dispose in sharps containers.

The CDC says about 385,000 healthcare worker injuries are from the exposure of bloodborne pathogens due to needlesticks or other sharps-related incidents. These injuries often lead to hepatitis B virus (HBV),
hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

Here are some of the CDC’s reminders:

  • Do immediately place used needles and sharps into a sharps disposal container
  • Do seal sharps disposal containers when disposing of them, label them properly and check community guidelines on how to property dispose them
  • Do report a problem associated with disposal containers
  • Don’t throw loose needles or other sharps in the trash
  • Don’t flush needles and other sharps down the toilet
  • Don’t put them in the recycling bin
  • Don’t try to remove, bend, break or recap needles used by another person
  • Don’t attempt to remove the needle without a needle clipper

If you are accidently stuck by another person’s used needle or sharp, wash the exposed area right away with water and soap or use a skin disinfectant like hand sanitizer. Then seek immediate medical attention!