Needles and Other Sharps (Safe Disposal Outside of Health Care Settings)
This webpage gives tips for safely disposing (getting rid of) needles and other sharp devices that are used outside of health care settings. Patients and caregivers should keep these tips in mind when at home, at work, and while traveling.
- What are Sharps?
- Importance of Safe Sharps Disposal
- What to Do If You Are Accidently Stuck By a Used Needle or Other Sharp
If you are accidently stuck by another person’s used needle or other sharp:
- Wash the exposed area right away with water and soap or use a skin disinfectant (antiseptic) such as rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer.
- Seek immediate medical attention by calling your physician or local hospital.
Follow these same instructions if you get blood or other bodily fluids in your eyes, nose, mouth, or on your skin. For more information on viruses and needle-stick prevention, visit the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s website.
1Statistics provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).