With long months of lockdowns and heightened restrictions in crowded and public places, people stay at home most of the time during pandemics. For sure, many people have good stocks of medical supplies, such as face masks, gloves, injectables, and palliative and maintenance medicines. After using them, they become household medical waste.
Improper disposal of household medical waste causes injury, infection, and even environmental damage. Expired medications, sharps, and medical supplies soiled with bodily fluids should be discarded properly to avoid health and safety issues inside the home. So, how do you ensure you accomplish this goal?
In this article, you’ll learn the ways you can safely dispose household medical waste to guide you accordingly.
- Take Advantage Of Compounding Pharmacy Services
Compounding pharmacies issue drugs obtained from a medical doctor’s prescription, which is a reliable and safe way to get customized medications. Because medications compounded in pharmacies are individualized or tailor fit for each patient, you can actually save yourself from handling potential household medical waste yourself.
Drugs compounded in pharmacies use sterile supplies, such as sterile gloves, masks, and injections, to avoid introducing contaminants in the medicines. Unlike commercial medications, pharmacy-compounded drugs aren’t administered as predetermined dose or as a set. So, you don’t need to handle unused leftovers from your prescribed dose. All sterile supplies and leftover medical wastes will be discarded by the pharmacy.
You can navigate to this site to find out more about choosing the right type of compounding pharmacy for you.
- Use And Discard Sharps Properly
You or your loved ones may be using sharps at home for treating diabetes and other medical conditions. After every use, it’s crucial to know how to use a sharps container to avoid causing injury to yourself and other family members at home.
Here are some tips on disposing and using sharps properly:
- Put sharps, like injections, in a sharps container every after use.
- Make sure the syringes are discarded with the needle attached.
- Never try to remove, break, recap, or bend the needle.
- You can place sharps in any puncture-proof plastic container if you don’t have a dedicated sharps container at home. Never use a glass container and ensure you tape the lid to close it.
- Store the medical waste container away from children’s reach. You can place the sealed sharps container into a full, dark trash bag and discard. Don’t place sharp containers in the recycle bin.
- Eliminate Medical Waste Via Mail-Back Programs
One of the best ways to get rid of injectables and other sharps safely is to take advantage of mail-back programs. You just need to order a container for sharps, fill it with used sharps, and place the container in a shipping box.
The courier will pick up your medical waste at a schedule, weekly or monthly. Companies offering mail-back programs will take care of the disposal of your household medical waste without extra cost.
Check the following advantages of using mail-back programs:
- Saves money
- Protects the environment
- Free of charge
- Discard Soiled Items Safely
Soiled items such as gloves, bandages, and gauze soiled with blood, other body fluids, and other medical wastes should be disposed of properly to avoid spreading infection inside the home. Here’s how:
- Place soiled items in a leak-proof plastic bag. Make sure it’s sealed properly.
- Place the bags with the soiled items in the trash and label accordingly. Contact a rubbish company who can handle medical waste disposal for you.
- Avoid attracting pests and animals by using trash bins with tight lids.
- Discard Medications Safely
You need to dispose of unused, unwanted, and expired medications from your home at an anonymous drug disposal site. Never flush drugs because they can harm the environment. Hospitals can accept unused and expired drugs, so you can call the hospitals near you if they have a safe drug disposal.
- Contact Your Local Hazardous Waste Collection Site
You can also contact the hazardous waste collection site in your area to get rid of your household medical waste. This will allow you to drop off containers of used sharps.
- Check Available Community Residential Pick-Up Services
Some local communities are offering residential pick-up services for sharps. This option includes a significant fee since specialists will need to collect your used sharps. This service is sometimes not available in all areas.
Now, you can safely dispose your household medical waste without worrying about its negative health and environmental impacts. It’s crucial to follow accepted guidelines and safety protocols when handling medical waste at home in accordance to standards, to ensure your family’s health and safety. In addition, you can protect the environment from the ill effects of medical waste to bodies of water, air quality, and lands.