The Caregiver


Handling of Needles and Sharp Objects


Sharp objects used in home for health care include needles and syringes, lancets, glass ampoules, and razor blades.  It is important that you know how to safely handle these sharp objects to prevent accidental needle sticks and cuts which can lead to transmission of infectious diseases.


Tips on Safe Handling of Needles and Sharp Objects:


Do not uncover or unwrap the sharp object until it is time to use it.


Keep the sharp object pointed away from you and other persons at all times.


To prevent needle injury, you should never recap used needle into its original sheaths, detached from disposable syringes by hand, or purposefully bent, broken, or otherwise manipulated by hand.


Ask for assistance if you are performing procedure such as giving injection or starting an intravenous lines that requires the use of needles and sharp instruments on person who is uncooperative.


Immediately discard used needles and other sharp objects directly into a puncture-resistant container (sharps disposal container) used solely for such disposal.  The container should be located as close as practical to the user. 


Discard the sharps disposal container when it is two thirds full.  Never allow the contents to protrude out of the opening.


If you use an empty container to dispose sharp objects, it must be of heavy-duty material.  Be sure to reinforce the cover by taping it firmly before discarding the container.


Keep sharps disposal container with sharp objects out of the reach of children and pets.


If you are stick by needle, encourage bleeding, wash puncture wound with soap and water and/or 70% alcohol.