Original articles

Sharps disposal practices among diabetic patients using insulin

Dhanalutchmee Govender, Andrew Ross


Insulin-dependent diabetic patients are not educated on safe sharps disposal methods, so leading to unsafe disposal of needles. Appropriate education on the correct disposal of sharps should be an integral part of their diabetic counseling. Doctors, nurses and pharmacists should all take responsibility for educating and reinforcing information about correct sharps disposal methods. Patients should be advised to either discard sharps into puncture resistant containers placed into their household refuse, or return them in secure containers for disposal by the dispensing institutions. Patients should also be educated regarding health risks associated with used needles. The South African Metabolic and Endocrine (SEMDSA) Guidelines and the South African Standard Treatment Guidelines (STG) should also give clear guidance on the safe disposal of needles.

Authors' affiliations

Dhanalutchmee Govender, Department of Family Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban

Andrew Ross, Department of Family Medicine, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban

Full Text



Insulin dependant diabetics, Safe disposal of sharps, Diabetic education

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2012;102(3):163-164.

Article History

Date submitted: 2011-06-17
Date published: 2012-02-23

Article Views

Abstract views: 1542
Full text views: 5044

Comments on this article

*Read our policy for posting comments here