Though the Clinical Waste Discussion Forum and Blenkharn Environmental have long-supported postal delivery of small volumes of sharps waste from home users, diabetics and others, to ease the process of disposal, things have gone badly wrong for this US family!
The North Valleyfamily is disgusted after getting a very unexpected and horrifying delivery: A UPS box showed up on their front porch and appeared to be leaking blood.
The package was supposed to go to a medical waste processing facility in Texas, but it got redirected and addressed to an Albuquerque home. Natalie Roberts says her son brought it into the house and her daughter touched the leaking box.
“I was very concerned my kids were exposed to blood-borne pathogens, HIV, who knows what could be in that box?” Roberts said.
Oncore, the medical waste company, is investigating how this happened. The CEO said a box like that should never be delivered to a home and it definitely shouldn’t of gone to Albuquerque.
Let this not detract from the positive aspects of postal or courier delivery. The system could work much better, with properly constructed containers including necessary inner and outer layers to provide robust leak-proof and adequately labelled compliant packages.
Sharps alone are a much better product since these can be placed into a standard IOS-compliant sharps bin, inside a suitable outer wrapper holding the bin securely. Pre-labelled with the delivery address and other necessary information, the entire lot, wrapper and all, goes straight to incineration. No safety issues associated with unpacking, contaminated wrapping materials, however unlikely, and safe handling in the event that users have failed to close and seal the bin and allow used sharps to protrude from the bin.
This eliminates any danger to postal or transport staff, and removes from most the need to carry used sharps bins to a local chemist, GP surgery or back to hospital for safe disposal. Regrettably, the postal union forbids postal transport of clinical wastes, through I am certain that the courier companies would be happy to accept this work, and distribute empty bins and their outer boxes.
It must be better than the current ad hoc arrangements which as disproportionately costly and inconvenient to users.