Modern technology has allowed for the creation of machines that can even handle the disposal of hazardous medical waste like sharps containers on-site (source: celitron.com). One of the finest example is the Integrated Sterilizer and Shredder, which is a creation pertaining to the previously mentioned source. Read on to find out how a machine like that can handle sharps disposal!
The importance of sharps containers before waste disposal
Sharps are among the most hazardous types of medical waste, and as such, even before their disposal, require special segregation. Due to their nature, they can not only easily pierce or cut the skin, but can facilitate the propagation of infections. Just imagine: without the proper containers, sharps can just as easily prick your skin through the average trash bag. Health hazards can come from even slight omissions as this! On the other hand, they can just as easily be avoided if you are conscious about the risks, and remember to use the right equipment.
Sharps containers are made from hard plastic, preventing incidents that could occur with simple trash bags. You can instantly handle short term sharps disposal, although you will also need a tool for disposing of all collected sharps – but more on that later. They are easily recognizable by their red (or in some cases yellow) color, and the universal biohazard symbol indicating hazardous medical waste. The following types of sharps waste can be collected in the proper containers:
- Broken glass
- Broken capillary tubes
- Cardio-catheter wires
- Disposable suture sets and biopsy forceps
- The exposed ends of dental wires
- The tips of electro-cautery devices
Sharps containers are not only rigid, they can also be sealable and self-locking. This way, the waste inside cannot damage the sides of the container, and cannot spill out. Still, no matter what kind of sharps waste container you use, it is very important not to overstuff it. This way you can avoid incidents where people are pricked by the needles inside when trying to force new ones inside the container. This limit is usually three quarters of the bin, and is marked by the manufacturer.
Sharps container disposal with a hazardous medical waste shredder
Especially if your sharps containers are single use, you’re going to need not only the right equipment that can safely dispose of your sharps, but the containers they were in as well. Among the most modern methods for hazardous medical waste disposal, two definitely stand out: steam sterilization and medical waste shredding. But what if you could get your hands on a machine that can do both?
The ISS (short for Integrated Sterilizer and Shredder) incorporates the advantages of both of these processes. It essentially works as an autoclave that uses high pressure steam to sterilize the waste inside, and then shreds it with its powerful blades to reduce the volume of the waste to 20%. The end-result is completely harmless, dry sharps waste: its disposal can now be handled like regular municipal waste!