I am confounded, disgruntled, and disgusted. I posted this topic about two / three weeks ago, and then set out to find out where diabetics or others that use sharps for medical purposes do with their sharps.
What I found out, what I heard from the people I talked to made me so upset, I am making this a cause for myself.
First, South Dakota, is one of a handful of states that doesn’t have a law or ruling on the use of sharps or needles and their disposal. AND when I wrote to each member of our State Legislature – about 150 people, I got back 15 answers…one was positive about bringing it up next year…soonest she could put it on the agenda, 2 were unaware of what a sharp was, and the rest thought it was a community thing or a medical problem to be dealt with.
Of the medical communities that I contacted, that would be hospitals and clinics, none not a one, would take them from patients because of insurance reasons. Of the docs, PA’s and CNP’s that I spoke to, the answer was the same Insurance wouldn’t cover them if they didn’t know where the sharp came from…like someone is recording each and every sharp in their practices now. And of the pharmacies that I contacted, as much as they would LOVE to take them (yea right) they suggested a milk carton, a pop bottle (2 L) or large detergent bottle for them, and then tape them shut and put them in the garbage. DO NOT mark them as sharps because drug users would take the bottles and use the dirty sharps.
So folks, for those of you who have laws or codes, pat your states on the back for protecting your citizens. For those who don’t, be aware. I found a lancet, a strip and then a syringe on the side of the building of my clinic last week…very scary to me.
If you have ideas on how to get it across to people the importance of this issue, please let me know.