Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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A Run on Sharps Containers

As part of my diabetes treatment program, I test my blood sugar twice a day: once right after getting up, and again one hour after one meal per day (I rotate the test meal daily to get a broad picture). This leads to me generating potentially hazardous waste.

Testing involves poking my finger with a lancing device, which uses single-use disposable lancets. I then test the little drop of blood with the meter and a disposable test strip, then remove the lancet and replace it with a new one. Part of the new lancet is a little plastic cap that you break off and cover the old lancet's pointy bit, to make it safe.

While not absolutely required, I prefer to dispose of these used lancets in a "sharps container," which is where you dump used needles. (If the lancet cover falls off, you have a very sharp little needle there, albeit one only a few milimeters long.) About once a year, I accumulate enough of these that it's worth my while to take the container to the Household Hazardous Waste site in Hayward and drop it off.

I noticed that my current sharps container was starting to fill up, so I made a note to pick up a new one from the Walgreen's where I normally shop. On my next trip by there, I went looking for them. No joy. I asked at the counter; they said they'd just sold the last one.

A couple of days later, I stopped by another Walgreen's in a different part of Fremont, and they were out as well. Odd.

Today after lunch, I walked up to the Rite-Aid store at the top of Campus Drive, and they had lots of sharps containers, so that fixes my problem. I still wonder what would cause multiple stockouts in a relatively small area like that, though.

Yes, I really do think about things like this. The longer I work for a supply-chain management company, the more I tend to think about them.
Tags: diabetes

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