what do you do with empty narcotic vials?

  1. I hate the simple little things that I can't get a straight answer to! Or one person says one thing another says the opposite! I work per diem in a free standing ambulatory surgery clinic in California. I can't seem to get a straight answer to what to do with empty vials after I have drawn out all the morphine or demerol, etc.? Can it go in regular trash?
  2. Visit brownbook profile page

    About brownbook

    Joined: Jul '06; Posts: 2,977; Likes: 7,097
    from CA , US

    10 Comments

  3. by   litlamp
    Where I work they go into the sharps boxes. Never into the trash.
  4. by   litlamp
    I forgot to add.. always check the policy where you work
  5. by   Frankie123
    I'm a California RN. Empty Vials go in the Sharps container. But if you are wasting a narcotic, make sure you have another nurse witness.

  6. by   loriangel14
    Where I work they go in the sharps container.
  7. by   Asystole RN
    At my facility ALL glass vials are thrown into the sharps box.
  8. by   brownbook
    Thanks, I just want to be sure were talking the same thing. I don't mean ampules like fentanyl that can cut after being opened. I mean glass vials with laytex (or whatever?) diaphragms to draw out the medication with a syringe. It is fine, no big deal to put them in the sharp container, but why? I like to know why I am doing a certain thing, makes me more compliant.
  9. by   Penelope_Pitstop
    Quote from brownbook
    Thanks, I just want to be sure were talking the same thing. I don't mean ampules like fentanyl that can cut after being opened. I mean glass vials with laytex (or whatever?) diaphragms to draw out the medication with a syringe. It is fine, no big deal to put them in the sharp container, but why? I like to know why I am doing a certain thing, makes me more compliant.
    [FONT="Lucida Sans Unicode"]Those glass vials can break as well and therefore can also cut a person. When in doubt, sharps is the way to go!
  10. by   Redhead28
    I always put them in the sharps container. Two reasons they are glass or plexi they can break and cut. Also much harder for people to dig through the sharps for the vials to get their high... I know always a cynic but I've seen it done.
  11. by   cardiacqueen
    Sharps container for empty vials. If giving a partial dose, I draw out the entire vial worth and waste the extra down the drain per policy with a witness, of course. Gotta love taking a 4mg vial of morphine out (smallest we have) only to admin 0.5mg...
  12. by   BrnEyedGirl
    We make sure they are empty and throw them in the trash. The rational was that the sharp containers go to biohazard and we are charged by weight,...now if it is vial we have to break to open it goes in the sharps container. I also put empty glass soda bottles, nitro bottles, diprivan bottles etc in the regular trash, just make sure they are empty.

Must Read Topics


close