Health & Safety

November 15, 2012

Syringes, needles will no longer be accepted at RWBAHC

Scout reports

Raymond W. Bliss Army Health Center will no longer accept used syringes, needles or lancets, also known as household sharps, from patients after Nov. 30. Household sharps are typically used in the home for insulin injection. They are also used for administering medications to treat other medical conditions, including the prevention of blood clots, and may become contaminated with blood-borne diseases including Hepatitis B and C, and Human Immunodeficiency Virus.

“The potential exists for the “sharp” to infect someone who comes in contact with the needle, if it is contaminated with a disease,” according to RWBAHC health officials.

These items should also not be disposed in a household garbage container. Used sharps left loose can hurt sanitation workers during collection, at sorting and recycling facilities, at landfills, or become lodged in equipment, forcing workers to remove them by hand. Children, adults and even pets are at risk for needle-stick injuries when sharps are disposed of improperly at home or in public settings.

Do not place household sharps in containers with a BIOHAZARD label on the outside of the container in the household garbage. Biohazard material is not allowed in household trash, according to hospital officials.

Hospitals and other healthcare facilities must follow strict federal and state guidelines for waste management. By taking in household sharps, the facility risks violating some of these rules. The good news is that these rules don’t apply to private citizens.

Most individuals are conscious of the environment and look for ways to be good environmental stewards, whether it’s recycling or properly disposing of potentially hazardous materials.

So how can a person legally and safely dispose of household sharps? At home one can obtain an empty plastic laundry detergent container (or empty bleach container). Do not store used sharps in glass bottles, soda bottles, milk jugs, aluminum cans or coffee cans. Place used or expired household sharps into the container and keep lid tightly closed at all times. Label container with the words “used sharps” and “do not recycle.”

Once the bottle is full, ensure the lid is tightly closed and tape it. Take the container to the Cochise County Transfer Station, located on State Route 90, and let the attendant know about the sharps for disposal. According to hospital officials, transfer personnel will ensure it is disposed of as a hazardous waste, keeping it out of the main waste stream.

One can also use the mail-back program. Used sharps are placed in special containers which are then mailed in accordance with U.S. Postal Service requirements. They are then sent to a collection site for proper disposal. This is a better option due to keeping the sharps out of the waste stream altogether, but it comes with a fee. Fees can vary, depending on the size of the container.

Several manufacturers offer a variety of products that allow one to destroy used needles at home. These devices either sever, burn or melt the needle and allow the user to discard the syringe or plunger in the garbage. These devices can reduce or eliminate the danger of sharps entering the waste stream. The prices vary according to the type of device and manufacturer.
Examples of such devices include a needle cutter which is a device that automatically stores the cut needles and can hold up to 1,500 needles (approximately two years worth). The remaining syringe or pen can be placed into the regular trash. The container that holds the needles can be placed into a household container and turned in to the Cochise County Transfer Station.

There is also a destruction device available that incinerates needles and lancets and can be used at home to destroy needles immediately after use. They are small, portable devices that use a few seconds of high heat to melt needles and reduce them to BB-size pellets. Previously used only in healthcare facilities, these devices are now available in smaller, less expensive models for home use.

Learn more about safe community needle disposal at, http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/industrial/medical/med-home.pdf.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Labor Day Safety Message

Labor Day marks the traditional end of the summer season and celebrates the American worker and the contributions they make to our great country. I want to commend you on your efforts to control heat injuries through another hot summer. Your diligence and care for teammates contributed to an overall 20-percent decrease in accident fatalities...
 
 
Mike Williams

Flooding still underway this year — avoid water runoff problems

Mike Williams Runoff crosses the road during a monsoon storm. Remember to stay safe, and if you see even a small amount of water crossing the roadway, remember to ‘Turn Around, Don’t Drown!’ While rain in a desert climate...
 
 

Tobacco use harms military readiness, official says

WASHINGTON — Because tobacco use is harmful to military readiness, the Defense Department has an added responsibility to curb its use, the assistant secretary of defense for health affairs said Tuesday, noting that service members are more likely to use tobacco products than Civilians. Tobacco use can lead to excess oral cavity disease and morbidity,...
 

 

Military, Sierra Vista police share back-to-school driving cautions

Fort Huachuca and Sierra Vista schools are back in session, and Fort Huachuca Police and Sierra Vista Police Department personnel remind motorists about traffic laws to help keep youth safe in school zones and around school buses. Heed yellow signs near crosswalks in schools zones during school hours. Vehicles must stop for pedestrians in the...
 
 

RWBAHC changes EFMP appointment times

Exceptional Family Member Program, EFMP, personnel at Raymond W. Bliss Army Health Center now set patient appointments every weekday morning from 7:30 – 11 a.m. These appointments are for EFMP enrollments, updates, disenrollments and overseas screening. The Soldier, spouse or legal guardian can contact Family Care Clinic B to begin the assessment process for enrollment,...
 
 
Karen Horak, NSRDEC Collective Protection Systems Team

Natick takes shelter ballistic protection to the ‘X’ level

Karen Horak, NSRDEC Collective Protection Systems Team Researchers at the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, with help from the Advanced Structures and Composites Center at the University of Maine, hav...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin