Infection Control & Waste Disposal

Always read your medication labels carefully to verify: correct name, correct medication, correct dose, and correct frequency.


Most of your I.V. medications need to be stored in the refrigerator as stated on the label. Always check the label for instruction, name, and medication. Some medications need to be stored in the freezer and this will be indicated on the label if necessary. Everything else is stored at room temperature. If you have any questions, please call One Source Home Care.


  1. Gloves (non sterile)
  2. Sharps-like container
  3. Heavy plastic bags


  1. To help minimize the spreading of germs, hands should be washed thoroughly, including brushing under and around fingernails. Scrub hands and forearms up to the elbow. Dry with a clean paper or cloth towel.
  2. You should ALWAYS wash your hands:
    • Before and after touching any medications, supplies, dressings, or any open wounds.
    • Before performing any procedure
    • After you use the bathroom
  3. Caregivers and/or visitors should also wash their hands and be cautious of a cough. Some patients may get sick easily if their medical condition causes them to have a lower immune system.
  4. All contact with relatives and visitors should be minimized if they have any colds or infections.
  5. Gloves should be worn when you are touching any infected skin, wounds, or materials with blood.
  6. Gloves may also be required to be worn when performing certain aseptic technique procedures (you will be instructed by your nurse when to wear gloves).
  7. Gloves should only be used once
  10. Place all used needles, IV catheters, and syringes with needles in the Sharps container.
  11. Contaminated dressings, tissues, and used gloves must be placed in heavy plastic bags before disposal.
  12. Always wash clothing, bedding, or towels separately if it has been soiled with blood or body fluids (i.e. vomit). Use hot water and bleach.
  13. Dishes and utensils should be washed with hot water and dish washing soap. Use a clean cloth to dry dishes.
  14. Never use the same cloth to dry dishes that was used for something else.
  15. Bathrooms should be kept clean at all times.
  16. All relatives and visitors should also follow these guidelines.
  17. Always utilize "universal precautions".

    Aseptic technique refers to the method used to perform a procedure that will keep the sterile materials free from bacteria. There are bacteria on the skin, which is not harmful as long as it remains on the skin. Most areas inside the body are free from bacteria that is, sterile.

    Bacteria can enter into these areas through contaminated solutions or supplies. Touching sterile parts of supplies can cause contamination and lead to an infection.

    Using aseptic technique when working with your supplies, solutions and equipment can prevent infection: Aseptic technique is the most important procedure you will learn. It cannot be stressed enough. Again, this is the most important thing you can do to prevent infection.

    The following are basics of aseptic technique:

    1. Hand Washing

    Hands that are not visibly dirty need to be washed just as thoroughly as visibly dirty hands. Bacteria normally found on the skin of the hands and those bacteria otherwise collected during daily activity on the hands can cause infection.

    REMEMBER: Always wash your hands before handling equipment before doing any procedures.

    • You will need the following supplies for hand washings:
      • Antibacterial soap
      • Running water
      • Paper towel
    • Hand Washing Procedure
      • Remove jewelry as this is a hiding place for bacteria
      • Wet hands, apply soap, and scrub for at least two minutes
      • Rinse hands well under running water
      • Dry hands thoroughly with a paper towel
      • Turn off the faucet with a paper towel


Most of the supplies you will use for your therapy have been sterilized, packaged and sealed.

All solutions you will use are prepared and sealed using sterile technique. To keep solutions, equipment, and supplies sterile carefully follow these instructions:

  1. Always wash your hands when handling supplies and before and after all procedures.
  2. Limit the traffic flow and amount of distractions before a procedure.
  3. DO NOT USE any solution if:
    • The solution’s expiration date has passed; OR
    • The solution is cloudy, discolored or if particles are floating in the solution OR
    • The solution’s container has cracks, chips, tears, leaks, or damaged caps
  4. Make sure all packages are sealed. Discard anything with a broken seal. If there is moisture inside packages which are supposed to be dry, discard the item.
  5. Do not let the item touch any non-sterile surface including the outside of its package, or even your fingers.
  6. Do not touch the shaft of the syringe plunger with your fingers.
  7. When in doubt throw it out! Do not use anything you think may be contaminated. It is much more expensive to be hospitalized for an infection than it is to obtain extra supplies.
  8. To prevent contamination and obtain a better view, work with solutions at waist level and in front of you.
  9. DO NOT take "short-cuts" with your procedure.
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Waste Disposal

Home care may generate some items that are classified as medical waste. These items are defined as “sharps waste". For example, hypodermic needles, pen needles, intravenous needles, lancets, and other devices that are used to penetrate the skin for the delivery of medications. Syringes without sharps (needles) attached can be disposed of in your home waste container.

The Medical Waste Management Act requires all home-generated sharps to be placed in approved containers for transport and disposal. Home-generated sharps should not be disposed of in bleach bottles, soda containers, etc. Store sharps waste in red bio-hazardous containers for easy identification.

What goes into the sharps disposal container?

If you use needles and lancets for self-injections or to add medications to IV bags, make sure you are disposing them into your sharps container. This includes needles that are permanently attached to your syringe (e.g. insulin syringes or prefilled syringes with needle permanently attached) or needles that are permanently attached to the administration set (e.g. subcutaneous administration sets).

For the disposal of syringes without needles (e.g. prefilled saline and heparin syringes) after use, remove the plunger from the barrel and dispose of the syringe in your household trash. No other items need to be disposed of in your sharps disposal container, including used gloves, used dressings, or used administration sets in which a needle is not permanently attached.

Bring used sharps to any hospital or nursing home in New York State. All NY hospitals and nursing homes are required by law to act as collection centers for the take-back of used household sharps, including syringes and lancets, with no identification required. Make sure sharps are packaged safely and call hospitals and nursing homes for drop-off times and instructions prior to transporting materials to their facility.

In addition to hospitals and nursing homes, various local pharmacies and other health sites may voluntarily and anonymously accept sharps. Visit Take-It-Back NYC to find locations near you that accept sharps.

Never place loose sharps in the trash and never place sharps containers in your recycling bin. (NYC residents will not be penalized for placing a recyclable container containing sharps in their regular household garbage if the container is clearly marked "Home Sharps - Not for Recycling".)

For more information regarding sharps disposal in your area visit New York State Department of Health


You can prevent injury, illness, and pollution by following some simple steps when you dispose of the sharp objects and contaminated materials.

You should place:

  • Needles
  • Syringes with needles
  • Lancets
  • Blood contaminated syringes and other objects in an approved sharps container

Along with the new law that was passed that requires for all sharps to be disposed of in the approved Sharps container only, they have also implemented sharps return kit programs, mail-in programs.

Mail-in Programs:

You can purchase specially designed sharps containers that come with a prepaid-postage shipping container. Select pharmacies (such as CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens) are offering free sharps containers. The first container is free and then the 2nd and 3rd will cost five dollars apiece.

As a locally owned and operated provider of infusion therapy and clinical management services, our goal at One Source Homecare is to meet our patient's personal, medical and therapy needs in order to provide exceptional service to our patients, their families, their caregivers and our prescribers.