Sharps bin for ambulant use

Sharps bins are generally big and bulky. 1, 2, 4, or more litres capacity, these smaller sizes may sit neatly on a desk or benchtop but for those who are out and about the size is simply too great.

Diabetics and others who self-administer injectable medicines, and perhaps IV drug users also, often call for simple sharp boxes small enough to fit into a handbag or shoulder bag along with drug supplies and injection equipment. Insulin pens have been a great step forward but are not suitable, or available to, everyone and this is the circumstance where used sharps are packaged inappropriately in make-do containers that are, or should be, transferred to a more appropriate container when returning home. Clearly, however, this is a recipe for disaster.

Some US manufacturers/suppliers are now offering extra small sharps bins for diabetics. I guess the sudden appearance from several sources implies a single manufacturer has ramped up production but the idea is good. Still rather large, they are said to be suitable to carry in a pocket or handbag.

Most sharps users will appreciate these attempts to produce ever-smaller sharps containers but those capable of holing up to 100 syringes are still far too large. Perhaps a much smaller device holing only 10 syringes would be more useful. Sadly, cost then becomes an issue. These ultra-small containers would logically be aggregated for disposal by sealing them and placing them into a larger bin. The Sharps Compliance Corp Transport Tube might fit the bill and is perhaps the most suitable product available so far, but is too short to accommodate a needle and its attached syringe.

There are millions of legitimate self-injectors who are presently not accommodated by the range of sharps bins available for use away from home. Talking to many such users, an additional issue comes to attention – a whacking great sharps bin sat at home is a reminder, often a very big and bold reminder, of the illness that they suffer. A surprising number come to focus on the sharps bin as a visible manifestation of their illness and resent or even loathe it. Though colour coding is obviously important, something a little more ‘home friendly’ would be much appreciated.

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