If you work for a healthcare facility, are a caregiver or use medical transdermal patches, here are some tips for their safe disposal.
A transdermal medical patch is, as the name suggests, a patch that is adhesive and contains medication that is placed directly on the skin to deliver a dosage of medicine to that area. The medication enters the person’s bloodstream through their skin. These kinds of patches have many uses – from healing a wound, administering pain medication, to stopping motion sickness, and more.
While they are convenient and help caregivers to administer necessary medication, there is a need for greater regulation around their disposal. The problem is that a small amount of medication remains on the patch after it is used. If disposed of in the regular waste stream, they end up in landfills, seeping into the soil and back into our drinking water. The long term poor effects on humans and the environment is too great a risk.
If you work for a healthcare facility, are a caregiver or use these types of medical transdermal patches, here are some tips for safely disposing of them when done.
Understand the Risks
It’s important to first understand which patches are being used, and what the risks are before deciding the best course of action for disposal. Health facilities should also review manufacturer recommendations for disposal. While some used patches are okay to flush down the toilet, others require tossing into a red bag for incineration. Understanding these specifics is key to the proper disposal of medical transdermal patches.
The EPA has been fighting to stop the flushing of these used medical dermal patches, stating harm to aquatic wildlife and known issues from long term exposure. The debate of whether to use a protected container at all times for disposal, or to flush is an important one to follow if you’re discarding the patches.
The safest way to handle any medical waste is to work with a reputable medical waste hauler. These professionals understand all local rules and regulations and can help make the removal process frictionless. Stay compliant and use a trusted source. Call Redbags today!
Stay up to date on medical and hazardous waste regulations and other news by subscribing to the Red Bags blog.
You Might Also Like:
- New York State Solid Waste Regulations: Proposed Changes
- How Long Can Sharps and Red Bags Be Stored in Patient Areas in the State of New York?
- Unused Opioid Disposal Rules You Should Know