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Single use blood draw vacutainers- and medical waste reduction
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Single use blood draw vacutainers- and medical waste reduction

As a physician in a solo office....I note everything that takes place,  from patient care, to IT, to lab, to housekeeping...etc...and tonight I noted the housekeeper preparing to take our red blood borne pathogen container to the disposal area.  I asked to have a look inside.  I noted well over 100 "single use" vacutainers inside.  I decided to "study" the situation....so I took the container home to my shop, used a pliers to remove each unit, one at a time, and removed each screw in needle.  I threw the needles all back into the red container....and the clear, clean, single use plastic vacutainer holders into another trash container.  INTERESTINGLY....the ONCE FULL TO THE BRIM blood borne container was about 1/8 full !!!   What a waste of container space....  What an excessive cost to our medical trash removal...    I know the answer from OSAH....and the regulators of medical / lab practices....BUT I would like to know if there are "multiple use holder devices".  I hate wasteful habits, as when thousands are being wasteful, it adds up.

Are there multiple use vacutainer holders devices that can be reused?  These containers DO NOT GET TOUCHED BY BLOOD PRODUCT.  They merely hold the needles and blood tubes.

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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hello,

I am not aware of any vacutainer products that are currently available that are multi-use.

And, here is the OSHA link to the Safety and Health Information Bulletin (SHIB 10-15-2003) that explains the background and rationale.

http://63.234.227.130/dts/shib/shib101503.html

- Dr. Parks
2 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I have read OSHA's peice....but it's not law.  It's a threat to employers...who ask their staff to reuse vacutainer holders.  A full discussion needs to be had on the topic, where all of the numbers are out on the table.  Also, someone needs to invent a less wasteful manner by which to achieve safety with little or no waste.  I spoke with our hospital lab manager and she agrees.  Wasteful "biohazard" container usage is expensive as well.  I reduced the FULL container to 1/8 full.....by ONLY eliminating the "single use vacutainer holders".  Int the past the EXACT SAME PLASTIC PIECE was reused multiple times.  

Again, I've read the bulletin.   Thanks.
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Philip D Parks, MD, MPH, MOccH, F...Blank
Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard Medical School
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