The rules and regulations for properly disposing of anesthetic cartridges, or carpules, are sometimes unclear. Do the carpules need to go into a sharps container, a medical waste container, or can they be discarded in the regular trash? Sharps containers are used to prevent any possible injury from contaminated needles, disposable scalpels, scalpel blades, suture needles and other sharps. Anything that is disposable, contaminated with blood or body fluids, and sharp (capable of puncturing the skin) must be disposed of in a sharps container. Administration of local anesthesia often results in aspiration of blood or body fluid into the carpule. Whether visible or not, there is residual contamination in the spent carpule. As a result of this residual contamination, the carpules cannot be thrown in the trash. The carpules are glass and easily broken, and would then expose people to the blood or body fluid contamination. Due to the potential for breakage, carpules should not be placed into a medical waste red bag or disposal container. Therefore, all spent carpules (whether broken or not) should be properly disposed of in a sharps container.
Mail Your Sharps, Inc. offers a simple, cost effective solution for the disposal of sharps waste including carpules.
For more information, visit our Mail-Back Sharps Disposal page, or call us at 866-210-2744.