SAMJ: South African Medical Journal
On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574
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 punctureresistant 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.