Better Services Available to Keep Sharps Out of Trash

A recent article in the Portland Press Herald stated that there is a serious problem in Maine with medical needles or “sharps” being tossed in the trash.

With an estimated 40,000 Mainers needing a way to dispose of the medical needles they use to self-inject themselves to treat diabetes and a variety of other medical conditions, there is a need for a routine process to dispose of the sharps.

Sharps, or medical needles, are considered a medical biohazard and are a risk to family members as well as workers in the waste management industry.

Mickey Wing, owner of Central Maine Disposal in Fairfield said, “My feeling is they should be handled like medical waste.”

There currently is no law or protocol for how you should dispose of your used sharps, although throwing them away in the regular trash is clearly dangerous. If you are not using needles that come with their own disposal-ready package, please dispose of these safely. The safest thing for you, your family, the trash pickup workers and for the environment is for these sharps to be treated like medical waste and to be handled by a company licensed to transport and dispose of medical biohazard waste.

If you would like to arrange for a pickup of your used medical needles on a one-time or monthly basis, please contact us. We can pickup, transport and dispose of your used sharps from your home in Maine.

What Is A Bloodborne Pathogen?

One of the biggest risks at a clean up scene is contact with bloodborne pathogens, which may be contained in any spill of blood or bodily fluid. There are several bloodborne pathogens that can remain viable and contagious for many days in dried form. Proper removal of contaminants and disinfection of the area is essential. Hiring an experienced, well-trained company to clean up a tragedy scene will protect the safety of the occupants or employees.

The following is the definition of a bloodborne pathogen:

A bloodborne pathogen or disease is one that can be spread by contact and contamination by blood. The most commonly encountered examples are HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and viral hemorrhagic fevers. Diseases that are not usually transmitted directly by blood contact, but rather by insect or other vector, are more usefully classified as vector-borne disease, even though the causative agent can be found in blood. Vector-borne diseases include West Nile virus and malaria.

Many blood-borne diseases can also be transmitted by other means, including high risk sexual behavior.  Because it is difficult to determine what pathogens any given blood sample contains, and because many bloodborne diseases are lethal, the standard medical practice considers all blood (and any body fluid) as potentially infectious. Blood and Body Fluid precautions are a type of infection control practice that seeks to minimize this sort of disease transmission. Blood poses the greatest threat to health in a laboratory or clinical setting due to needle disposal techniques.

Blood for blood transfusion is screened for many bloodborne diseases. Additionally, a technique that uses a combination of riboflavin and UV light to inhibit the replication of these pathogens by altering their nucleic acids can be used to treat blood components prior to their transfusion, and can reduce the risk of disease transmission.

The most prevalent forms of bloodborne pathogens in the United States are:

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B attacks the liver. It can cause fatal liver conditions like cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure. The CDC estimates that 3,000 people die each year from Hepatitis B related illness in the United States. Hepatitis B is commonly transmitted among drug users through shared needles and can be transmitted through any blood contact that involves a puncture of the skin or mucosal contact with other infectious body fluids. A Hepatitis B vaccine became available in 1982 and vaccinated individuals have virtually no chance of contracting the disease.

Hepatitis C

The CDC lists Hepatitis C as the most common chronic bloodborne infection in the United States. Hepatitis C is transmitted most efficiently through direct blood contact involving a skin puncture. Transmission through sex or contact with other bodily fluids is possible but uncommon. As with Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C can result in chronic, fatal liver diseases. The CDC estimates that four times as many people die from Hepatitis C related illnesses than from Hepatitis B. No Hepatitis C vaccine is available.

HIV

Human immunodeficiency virus causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). AIDS weakens the immune system making it difficult for infected persons to resist other illnesses. AIDS is a late stage of the HIV viral infection and HIV medications can stave off the onset of AIDS for years or even decades. HIV is transmitted through unprotected sexual activity but can also be contracted through direct blood contact though skin punctures or to mucus membranes. The CDC recorded over 14,000 HIV related deaths in 2007. No HIV vaccine is available.

Viral Hemorrhagic Fever

Viral Hemorrhagic Fever (VHF) refers to a group of illnesses that affect multiple organ systems. Bleeding, or hemorrhaging can be a major symptom of these diseases. The CDC has a Special Pathogens Branch that deals with the most sever VHFs. Insects and rodents are known hosts of VHFs but the hosts of some VHFs are unknown. Ebola and Marburg are two of the most well-known and dangerous VHFs. CDC records of Ebola and Marburg outbreaks indicate that the viruses most commonly occur in a few African countries and are often fatal. VHFs can be transmitted through blood and other bodily fluids but the fluids do not have to enter the skin through a puncture to cause infection.

Treatment for these viruses is limited and there are no vaccines available.

BioSpecialists can be your best defense against contamination by bloodborne pathogens,  we are the New England Professional for cleanup, disinfection and removal of blood  and blood contaminants.
References:

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/bbp/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood-borne_disease
http://www.ehow.com/list_6822351_list-bloodborne-pathogens.html#ixzz1K5r0mHq

BioSpecialists Can Break the Infection Cycle

BioSpecialists were called to service by a daughter that had concerns about C-dif contamination in her parent’s home.  The parent was in the hospital and expected to be discharged the next day.

The parent had unknowingly contracted C-dif while in the doctors’ care at a rehab facility, was discharged, and the home became contaminated with the C-dif.  When the parent’s health worsened they were re-admitted, diagnosed again with C-dif and treated successfully for the C-dif infection. The parent was then discharged and again became infected by the C-dif bacteria in the home.  The parent had to be hospitalized yet again.

The daughter and her brother were concerned about the parent getting re-infected while back in the home setting again, and the possibility of this cycle not stopping and so contacted BioSpecialists for help.  A BioSpecialists team was sent to Rhode Island where they completely and thoroughly disinfected the entire occupied space of the home before the parent was discharged back to the dwelling.

This seems to be a common concern for many people that have suffered a health care acquired infection while being treated in a hospital,nursing facility or rehab physicality.  This 99% of the time is covered under home-owners insurance. This type of infection is more widespread that most people know. The family members, are credited with having the foresight to take this precautionary measure for the sake of the parent’s health.

This is one of many calls for this type of service we get almost on a daily basis here at BioSpecialists.  Education and proper disinfection techniques are the key to stopping this type of infection.

Can an employee of my business cleanup blood from an injury, trauma or suicide scene?

Yes, but before an employee of your business can legally (and safely) clean up and disinfect blood from the scene of a suicide (or trauma scene, accident, blood spill etc.) he or she must meet the guidelines set in Federal Regulation 29CFR1910:1030. There are many dangers present at a scene contaminated with bloodborne pathogens. To protect the safety of your employees and customers you should seriously consider hiring a blood clean up and remediation company.

Federal Regulation 29CFR1910:1030

Federal Regulation 29CFR1910:1030 states that no employee can be placed in a position to be exposed to blood spills without first:

  • Receiving bloodborne pathogen training.
  • Having a written bloodborne pathogen exposure control plan.
  • Having been provided with personal protective equipment.
  • Having been offered a Hepatitis B vaccine and exposure evaluation and follow-up.
  • Being provided with a method to remove and properly store the bio hazardous waste in a properly marked container for disposal at an approved site.

BioSpecialists, LLC expands service into the Boston Metro Area

BioSpecialists, a New England crime scene cleanup and bio hazard remediation company has expanded service to the Boston Area through our new Brookline, Massachusetts location.

The Brookline office will ensure that BioSpecialists can provide the same level of service and response times that our Southern Maine customers have come to expect. BioSpecialists will provide quick, professional and compassionate response to Massachusetts. New England is our home and we take care of our neighbors. Call us at 866-331-7731 to reach a supervisor twenty four hours a day and seven days a week.

BioSpecialists Continuing Education

Biospecialists is very pleased to announce that our Vice President of Operations and Field Supervisor Richard Shepard has completed Crime & Trauma Scene BioRecovery Training at the National Institute of Decontamination Specialists (NIDS) in Piedmont, South Carolina.

Richard is now a fully certified American BioRecovery Association (ABRA) BioRecovery technician. The comprehensive training program which he completed in November covers the lastest techniques in specialty decontamination. Richard’s new knowledge will help us to aid and protect our clients here throughout New England, he also brings back to us newly revised and updated billing practices that follow national accepted fair and ethical prices. These new billing guidelines will be applied to ease the transition for families and insurance companies after services have been performed.

The National Institute of Decontamination Specialists, operating under the supervision of Kent Berg is the most respected training facility in the industry.  NIDS provides an unparalleled training curricula for students here in the United States as well as those from abroad. The facility in Piedmont, South Carolina includes life-like scenarios that provide trainees with hands-on experience in realistic site reproductions to demonstate techniques in specialty decontamination.  These scenarios help to prepare students for certification as well as many of the challenges encountered in the real world.

Additionally we will be traveling to the advanced disinfection course in January 2012 for advanced training in techniques of specialty disinfection and decontaminationin.  Continued training is fundamental in this an ever evolving field of biological contamination.

BioSpecialists continues to be New England’s premier biohazard recovery company.  We have made continuing education and training an essential element of our core philosophy.

BioSpecialists Biological Indicator

A recent incident provided us with an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the usefulness of the Biological Indicator. BioSpecialists was called to remediate a death scene and were admitted shortly after the authorities had cleared the scene and departed.

The floor appeared to be generally clean. However Law Enforcement and/or EMS, Fire Department personnel or Funeral Home staff members had unknowingly spread contamination through the home.

BioSpecialists was brought in for a cleanup. We used a biological indicator product. By spraying this on the hard surface,  footprints were clearly identified.  One or more individuals had stepped in a bio-hazardous substance and tracked it throughout the home.

footprints can be seen with the biological indicator

 footprints can be seen with the biological indicator

 

The contamination was not visible to the naked eye,  but an occupant of the home could easily have themselves become infected had the circumstances permitted it.

The Biological Indicator provides another level of security for our clients,  it is another tool that BioSpecialists has to ensure that a home or site is restored to healthfulness.

BioSpecialists BBP Class Huge Success

We had a great turnout at our bloodborne pathogen training class for southern Maine funeral directors and attendants.  With over 80 people in attendance, it was one of the largest classes in several years.  The trainer and speaker was Richard Shepard, Vice President of Operations for Biospecialists.  BioSpecialists founder Bill York was also present for the day long training event.  It was great to see old friends and meet new directors and their staff of state licensed attendants.

Biospecialists provided Maine funeral home personnel with “BBP”, bloodborne pathogen, training.  Annual bloodborne pathogen training is required for Funeral Directors and their associates.  BioSpecialists also provided H2S chemical suicide awareness for directors and staff members.  Risk of exposure to chemical suicide agents is just the latest threat to those in the industry.  This program was a first for many and we’ve been asked to provide more in-depth training statewide to the funeral service providers and staff.

Starting in January of 2012, BioSpecialists expanded training operations into a new training operation, National Biohazard Training LLC.  It is a fully licensed training unit designed to help funeral homes to be compliant with OSHA, Federal and State regulations.  Training will detail in-house funeral home mandated regulations for proper labeling, BBP, exposure control plans, MSDS, respiratory protection, proper disinfection and house-keeping controls.

BioSpecialists also provides bio-medical waste disposal and transportation, in house controls for proper waste disposal, and required waste record keeping to satisfy OSHA as well as state mandated regulations pertaining to proper disposal.  We are the most cost-effective solution for your biomedical waste needs and we guarantee same day pickup.

Always feel free to contact BioSpecialists.

Bomb Making Materials Awareness Program (BMAP)

BioSpecialists recently attended the Bomb Making Materials Awareness Program training class.

What is the BMAP?

The BMAP is an innovative training opportunity being offered by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Bombing Prevention. This program is designed to increase Public & Private Sector awareness of the activities and materials associated with bomb making, including homemade explosives, and provides audience-appropriate awareness information on suspicious behavior, hazardous materials, precursor chemicals, and other bomb making related information.

The BMAP is being provided as part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s National IED Prevention & Awareness Campaign, and was developed in cooperation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

BMAP is presented as a one-day Train-the-Trainer course that prepares participants to take the information back to their organizations, where they can in turn share the knowledge and materials with fellow co-workers. BMAP is not designed to train bomb detection and handling personnel, but is geared towards individuals who may be the first to encounter bomb making activities (e.g..Planning, Supply Purchases/Acquisition, Production, Testing, Deployment, etc).

 

BioSpecialists Now Supporting Florida

BioSpecialists Hudson, Florida Location

BioSpecialists is growing! We now provide all of our services throughout the state of Florida from our Hudson, Florida location, conveniently located in the Tampa Bay, St. Petersburg metropolitan area.

We are now providing our services throughout Florida and will soon be expanding and opening a new Service and Training center in Hudson, Florida.

Our Florida Transporters Licence number is 7623