Safe Use and Disposal of Sharps Equipment

Sharps waste is a form of medical waste composed of used sharps, which include any device or object with the ability to puncture or lacerate the skin. Sharps waste is classified as biohazardous waste and must be carefully handled.

Common medical materials treated as sharps waste are:

  • Needles
  • Syringes
  • Glass (ampules)
  • Vials (empty/partial)
  • Razor blades
  • Surgical blades

Each facility has its own policy and method for safe disposal of used needles, syringes, glass vials and ampules. To the extent consistent with a facility’s policies and the availability of proper disposal options, sharps should be disposed of as soon as possible after use. Universal precautions should always be applied.

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