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Community Advocacy Organization

Safety Tips for Working With Needles in Medical Labs

Safety Tips for Working With Needles in Medical Labs

Working with needles can be especially dangerous in the medical field. Because medical professionals use needles to administer vaccines and medications, draw blood, and perform many other tasks, they can easily be contaminated, which makes them dangerous. Whether you work with needles for experiments or for medical procedures, here are some safety tips for using needles in medical labs.

Choose Your Syringes Carefully

Syringes are some of the most common tools in a medical laboratory. You can choose from a wide variety of syringes in the scientific market due to their many applications. However, not every syringe is suitable for every application. If you’re using the wrong type of syringe for your task, you could risk injuring yourself or your test subject or contaminating the needle. Understand how to choose your syringes carefully and which features are compatible with your experiments.

Handle Needles With Caution

Whether you’re working with a syringe, a suture needle, or another medical needle, you must handle it with care. Do not bend, shear, replace, sheath, or remove needles after use. This can result in contamination.

Anyone handling needles, syringes, or sharp objects should wear personal protective equipment (PPE)—gloves, masks, and aprons—to prevent needlesticks. If you are a laboratory manager, ensure your technicians and anyone else working with you understand the dangers of medical needles and how to handle them responsibly.

Dispose of Needles Properly

Once you’re done using medical needles, you’re not out of the danger zone. Disposing of medical needles safely is critical to your safety. Always dispose of needles immediately after use in the appropriate hazardous materials or sharps container. Similarly, never re-sheath them before disposal, as this can lead to accidental pricks. Medical needles require specialty disposal due to their hazardous properties. Every medical lab should have a sharps bin or other hazardous materials disposal unit for used medical needles.

As a lab manager, it’s important to remember these safety tips for working with needles in medical labs at all times. Ensure your team members know how to handle needles and disposal so the laboratory environment remains safe.

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