Over the past few years there has been a lot of media attention surrounding disease outbreaks caused from unsafe injection practices. In response to this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Safe injection Practices Coalition (SIPC) have joined to educate healthcare providers and the public on safe injection practices.

There have been 51 outbreaks of hepatitis B and hepatitis C in the U.S. between 1998 and 2009, exposing 75,000 people to the virus and causing the disease in 620 people. These outbreaks occurred in many different healthcare facilities: hospitals, dialysis facilities, outpatient clinics, ambulatory surgery centers, and long term care facilities. Most occurred as a result of unsafe injection practices where healthcare workers did not follow basic infection control practices.

 

What you can do:
It is important to remember that needles and syringes are single use devices. The following are other ways you can ensure safe injection practices:

  • Wash your hands before administering a needle.
  • Use a clean needle and syringe to draw up and administer medication.
  • Use a syringe to administer medication to only one person—this includes accessing the vial with a syringe that has already been used to administer medication to another patient.
  • Never use a common bag of saline or other IV fluid for more than one person, by accessing the bag with a syringe that has already been used to flush another person’s IV line.

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