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Is this a safety hazard?

Posted

Specializes in Emergency/Trauma. Has 1 years experience.

This issue was brought up last night here with another nurse and I thought I would throw it out there to get some different opinions. I have always put needles, and broken ampules in the sharps container but when it comes to the small glass bottles with the rubber thing to draw out of in the middle, like for toradol and such I sometimes put them in the sharps and sometimes just put them in the trash. My rationale is that the bottle is not broken and although made of glass, not really a "sharp." The nurse I was working with, a new nurse, told me I should always be putting them in the sharps container. Am I wrong to be putting them in the garbage can?

lpnflorida

Specializes in psych. rehab nursing, float pool. Has 30 years experience.

I put those containers in the sharps box, it may very well just be habit with me as I can see your point. However, if the bottle somehow got broken even though it was intact when you put it in the trash, that could be a hazard to someone else.

shodobe

Specializes in O.R., ED, M/S.

I see no real problem in putting small glass multidose bottles in the trash. The real chance of them breaking in all of the soft trash is remote in my opinion. Just see what what your department policy states. I have been throwing them either way for many years and haven't had a problem.

nrsang97, BSN, RN

Specializes in Neuro ICU and Med Surg. Has 20 years experience.

I put them in the trash , they aren't a sharp.

I put them in the trash. The hospital pays big bucks for processing sharps, so if every vial was put in the sharps waste that would add up to quite a few nurses' salaries.

Shenanigans, RN

Has 9 years experience.

Sharps container. Because I dont' know what happens between me putting a glass bottle in the trash and it ending up in the tip. I've seen the way the orderlies handle the garbage bags.

Plus, once I picked up a garbage bag and somethign cut me through the plastic bag. It was a broken augmentim bottle. Someone had obviously stepped on part of the bag and cracked the bottle.

jmgrn65, RN

Specializes in cardiac/critical care/ informatics. Has 16 years experience.

I put them in the trash, also we assemble our piggyback and you attach a small bottle of antibiotic to the bag you can't hardly put that in the trash. Ntg bottles don't fit in the sharps, mag citrate etc.

MrsMommaRN

Specializes in orthopaedics. Has 2 years experience.

The morphine and dilaudid glass cylinders I throw in sharps. Any medication ampule or small glass container should be thrown in sharps. Any person can pick out of the trash what you have left and use it form themselves or "share" it with others.

The morphine and dilaudid glass cylinders I throw in sharps. Any medication ampule or small glass container should be thrown in sharps. Any person can pick out of the trash what you have left and use it form themselves or "share" it with others.

You should be performing a witnessed waste with any controlled medications.

I throw everything in the sharps..because people might even try to dig NON-controlled substances like phenergan from the trash..it does make people loopy and sedated.

pink85

Specializes in School Nursing, Pedi., Critical Care.

I throw mine in the trash with any medication wasted away. As someone else stated, the hospital pays a lot of money to have sharps disposed of and it is technically not a sharp. We also throw other larger glass items in the trash. Housekeepers are supposed to be trained to treat all trash as if there are sharp items in it in case a needle gets accidentally thrown away. That is why you should NEVER push trash down to make room for more trash! When I worked pediatrics we had pedialyte that came in glass bottles and we always threw them in the trash.

If it is not broken then the vial is supposed to go in the trash, not the sharps. OSHA can actually fine the hospital for every non sharp item found in a sharps container and that fine can be up to $25,000 PER ITEM. I have never heard of them fining but hey...Obama is gonna need to raise some money somehow..Plus the cost of disposing the sharps items is out of this world.

NewRN2008, ASN, RN

Specializes in Ortho; Gyn; Urology; HBOT; Emergent. Has 8 years experience.

policy has to be in sharps. it is glass and could be easily broken in transit with housekeepers. or if someone decides they need to rummage in the trash for something- not a good idea. or they could take it out and do something with it.

-H-RN

Hilinenursegrl

Specializes in Emergency/Trauma. Has 1 years experience.

Wow I guess posting this question has left me more confused now! :confused: LOL, seriously though I guess I will just have to look up the policy or ask the safety manager. Thanks for all the responses,

We only use the sharps container for needles and blood-contaminated products. Disposing of biohazardous waste is extremely expensive. I do, however, separate glass from other trash so housekeeping doesn't get hurt.

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