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New sharps disposal containers keep patients, 20 MDG staff safe

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Kyrii Richardson
  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 20th Logistics Readiness Squadron stationed sharps disposal containers in 20th Medical Group pharmacy facilities here, Feb. 1.

This resource was made available to protect Team Shaw members and their families, and garbage disposal service workers from potential injuries or contamination by unsecured needles. Things like needles, syringes, lancets, and insulin pens are just a few of the accepted sharps. Hazard disposal education is one of the priorities of the 20th MDG, so by making new resources available customers can get inspired to learn more.

“It is important to have these sharps disposal boxes for our patients because previously they didn’t know what to do to get rid of the sharps,” said Senior Airman Michael Fogarty, 20th MDG pharmacy technician. “As time goes on they will start seeing it more and adapting it as a common practice.”

Prior to the boxes being installed, some patients would throw them in the medicine discard bin, which caused a hazard for pharmacists. Because of this, 20th MDG Airmen saw a need across Shaw and placed easy drawer-style drop boxes to allow for seamless and safe disposal.

“The medical sharps disposal containers have to be unlocked, removed from the container, and then secured to be transported by 20th MDG logistics Airmen,” said Staff Sgt. Jennifer Richardson, 20th MDG non-commissioned officer in charge of pharmacy services. “This removes the chance for sharps to be misplaced or misused.”

If you have any medical sharps that need to be disposed of, please visit the 20th MDG Main Pharmacy from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or the Base Exchange Pharmacy from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The best practice is to place the sharps in a puncture-proof container and seal the lid, then put the entire container in the sharps box for proper destruction.