Sharps Management Protocol

Needle sticks can potentially serve as a portal of injury for pathogens and can result in serious injury. It is important that appropriate sharps management is performed to ensure the safety and protection of faculty, staff and students.

  1. Sharps Disposal
    1. All sharps should be disposed of using an approved sharps container. Sharps containers are located in all areas that sharps could be used on live animals or models. If a syringe with a needle attached is used for the aspiration of body fluids or the injection of vaccinations that contain live organisms it should be safely placed in the sharps container in its entirety. In some cases the needle may be separated from the syringe and disposed of using the sharps container. Sharps should not be transferred from one sharps container to another and a sharps container should not be overfilled.
  2. Uncapped needles
    1. An uncapped needle should never be removed from a syringe by hand. If it is necessary to do so forceps may be used. A person should not be walking around others with an uncapped needle and it should not be passed to another person. Needles should never be uncapped by mouth.​​​​​​​
  3. Recapping needles
    1. Small Animal
      1. Recapping needles should be avoided but sometimes may be necessary. If a needle must be recapped a 1-handed scoop technique may be used.
        1. Place the cap on a horizontal surface such as an exam table.
        2. Hold the syringe with the attached needle in 1 hand.
        3. Use the needle to scoop up the cap without using the other hand.
        4. Secure the cap by pushing it against a hard surface.
    2. Large Animal
      1. When possible the needle should be recapped using the 1 handed method described above. On occasion a needle may need to be recapped when a flat surface nor a sharps container is available. If this occurs forceps may be used to replace the cap on the needle. Both hands may be used but extreme caution should be taken to prevent injury and the needle and syringe should be kept in a safe place until they can be disposed of properly.​​​​​​​