Found a Syringe?

WHAT IS THE RISK?
There has never been a reported case of transmission of HIV via a community found syringe accidental needle stick (CFSASN).-Journal of Public Health 2013

The risk of Hepatitis B and C transmission from a CFSANS is “practically negligible.” – British Medical Journal 2015

“Needlestick injuries in non-healthcare settings are uncommon and the risk from any needlestick resulting in chronic disease is very small.”– Commission on Health and Safety and Workers Compensation 2015

No instances of HIV transmission. Practically negligible for other blood borne viruses. Minuscule risk.

The REAL PUBLIC HEALTH RISK comes when people who use drugs don’t have access to sterile syringes due to legislative restrictions limiting access. This led directly to the worst HIV outbreak in history in Scott County, as well as our national Hepatitis C epidemic. Syringe service programs like ours decrease transmission by over 70%.

WHAT DO I DO IF I FIND A SYRINGE?
DO NOT
– force needles or sharps into container put fingers inside the container
– bend, break, recap or remove the needle leave the needle unattended. If you must leave to get disposal supplies, ask another person to keep watch to avoid an accidental stick
INSTEAD
-stay calm
-make sure that you can clearly see and move around the needle
-bring your sharps container or alternative to the needle, not the other way around
TAKE ACTION
1. Put on gloves
2. Place the container on the ground beside the syringe
3. Pick up the syringe by the middle of the barrel using tongs or gloved hands, whichever provides the most control
4. Place the syringe into the sharps container sharp end first
5. Secure the lid of the sharps container
6. Remove gloves and wash your hands

AS A LAST RESORT you can dispose of the used syringes/sharps in a heavy duty plastic bottle such as a laundry detergent bottle and tape the lid shut. (Do not use coffee cans – they are not puncture resistant) On the outside of the bottle, where it can be easily seen, write “WARNING: SYRINGES – DO NOT RECYCLE” on the outside and then place in the household trash.”

Safe Needle Disposal Brochure