All Points Medical Waste Blog

Glass in your Medical Practice

Sharps Waste or not?

When it comes to needles, syringes, lancets, auto-injectors, scalpels and any other sharp objects that can prick or cut the skin—the protocol for disposal is widely understood. These items, deemed by the medical industry as sharps, have their own approved waste disposal containers. But what about glass in your medical practice or facility—items that contain blood or other bodily fluid specimens? Knowing and adhering to the disposal requirements of such objects is crucial, because just like sharps and other medical waste material, doing it wrong can impose a health and safety risk to you, your staff and your patients. Read on to learn more.

Broken or not—it’s a sharp

When it comes to glass containers that are used in medical facilities, each and every one of them must be discarded as a sharp. It makes sense since glass has the potential to cut or prick someone, and puncture a waste bag, which could expose unknowing workers to pathogens or other dangerous hazardous waste. Even if it is still intact and not chipped or broken, it must be disposed of in an approved sharps waste container. The following items fall under the sharps category:

  • Vacutainer tubes
  • Glass capillary tubes
  • Slides
  • Any other lab materials made of glass

Infection and exposure control

Keeping your team and your patients safe from accidental infection or exposure to pathogens is a constant concern and one that takes consistency and compliance. The ideal way to do so is to implement a sharps safety program within your practice and offer continuing training to new and existing team members. Some important rules to follow include:

  • Always wear gloves when handling sharps
  • Unwrap or uncover the sharp instrument only when you are ready to use it
  • Point the sharp away from yourself and others
  • Keep your fingers away from the tip
  • Do not bend or recap the sharp
  • When disposing of sharps, never stick your fingers or hand into the container
  • Place all glass tubes, slides and other materials in approved sharps disposal containers

To learn more about medical waste disposal, visit our blog. Our team is dedicated to your safety and compliance and will work closely with you to create a customized schedule that suits your organization’s unique needs. And because you never have to pay trip, fuel or mileage fees, there are no surprises or hidden charges. To find out more about our medical waste disposal services, give us a call at 772.600.4885

Dawn Connelly

Dawn is the vice president of All Points Medical Waste. All Points Medical Waste is a family-owned and operated medical waste disposal and compliance company that has been serving the Treasure Coast, Palm Beaches, and surrounding areas since 1994.
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