Unsafe insulin needle disposal
Approximately eight billion therapeutic injections are administered outside of medical treatment facilities annually. The management of diabetes mellitus (DM) includes self-monitoring of blood glucose levels and administration of insulin and injectable non-insulin-related medications. The lancets, needles, and syringes used for DM management are categorized as medical sharps. Improperly discarded medical sharps can cause needlestick injuries in unsuspecting individuals and thereby pose a considerable public health risk. Release of these items into the environment will likely increase with the rising worldwide prevalence of DM, and a public safety crisis will emerge if proper disposal measures are not emphasized. This article reviews the literature from various geopolitical regions and describes how a substantial number of patients with DM improperly discard their sharps. Data support the need to develop multifaceted and innovative approaches to reduce risk associated with improper disposal of DM-related medical sharps into local communities.
Thompson BM, Cook CB. Unsafe Sharps Disposal Among Insulin-Using Patients With Diabetes Mellitus: An Emerging Global Crisis. J Diabetes Sci Technol. 2021 Dec 1:19322968211059851. doi: 10.1177/19322968211059851. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34852676.