Safe Disposal of Used Sharps, Condoms and Needle Stick Injury Protocol
Date: February 24, 2020
Date: February 24, 2020
*Taken directly from the SMDHU Infection Control Manual Child Care Resource Revised: October 2016
People are sometimes afraid when they find a used needle or condom in a park, street, or playground. However, if a used needle or condom is handled properly, the associated health risks are reduced. It is rare for someone to be injured by a used needle, but when it occurs the diseases we worry about most are hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. The virus that causes HIV does not live long outside the body so a used needle will rarely carry the HIV virus.
- It is important to handle any used needles or condoms carefully.
- Teach children to never touch condoms or needles they find on the ground.
- Tell children to tell an adult right away if they see or have touched these objects.
- To pick up a used needle or condom, wear impermeable gloves that cannot be punctured by a needle, or use tongs.
- Hold the needle tip away from you; be careful not to prick yourself.
- Put the object in a safe container, using a plastic bag for a condom and a hard plastic container that cannot be punctured, for a needle. Place needle tip down into container. The container should have a lid that will not come off easily.
- When a needle is found, the container should be brought to the needle and not the needle brought to the container. Do not hold the container while putting the needle into it.
- Put the plastic bag into a garbage can that children cannot access. Call, or bring the container with the needle to the health unit or household hazardous waste disposal site. Do not put them into a recycling bin. *At Huntsville Children’s Place, if the District of Muskoka Facilities/Maintenance employee is accessible, ask for assistance.
- Thoroughly wash hands for 15 seconds with soap and warm running water after gloves are removed.
Needle Stick Injury
- The risk of getting a disease is low, but each situation needs to be assessed thoroughly.
- If a needle does break the skin, let the cut bleed freely.
- Wash the area well with soap and water.
- Apply an antiseptic like rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.
- Visit a walk-in clinic or emergency department immediately. The employee may be advised to have blood tests or get immunized, depending on the situation.
- *Complete an Incident Report for anything related to this protocol and inform your Program Supervisor.