According to the CDC, there have been nearly 50 disease outbreaks linked to unsafe injection practices since 2001—affecting more than 150,000 patients. These outbreaks have included transmissions of hepatitis B and C, as well as bacterial infections. One Needle, One Syringe, Only One Time. It could save your life.
Safe injection practices matter.
Safe injection practices are steps—such as not using the same needle or syringe on more than one patient—that your healthcare providers should follow when they give injections.
Here are some questions to ask your healthcare provider:
- Did you wash your hands?
- Did you use a clean needle and syringe to draw up this medication?
- Is this a single-dose or single-use medication? Have you used this vial of medication on another person?
- How do you ensure my safety with a multi-use vial?
- How do you clean the area used to prepare medications?
- How does your healthcare facility protect me from infections?
Watch for potentially unsafe practices such as using the same syringe to administer medication to more than one person. Also make sure that the syringe being used to flush out your IV line is brand new—and hasn’t been used to flush out another person’s line. Finally, don’t use (or let your healthcare provider use) insulin pens and other injection equipment containing multiple doses of medication on more than one person.
Save a life.
It’s okay to talk to your healthcare provider about any safety concerns you have. It just may save a life. Your life.
- Injection safety tips—The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Injection safety: What you don’t know can hurt you—APIC consumer alert
- Single-dose or multi-dose vials—The One and Only Campaign
- What patients need to know about safe injection practices—The One and Only Campaign
- Patient information—The One and Only Campaign