Injected medicines are commonly used in healthcare settings for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of various illnesses. Unsafe injection practices put patients and healthcare providers at risk of infectious and non-infectious adverse events and have been associated with a wide variety of procedures and settings. This harm is preventable. Safe injection practices are part of Standard Precautions and are aimed at maintaining basic levels of patient safety and provider protections. As defined by the World Health Organization, a safe injection does not harm the recipient, does not expose the provider to any avoidable risks and does not result in waste that is dangerous for the community.
Three Things Every Provider Needs to Know About Injection Safety
- Needles and syringes are single use devices. They should not be used for more than one patient or reused to draw up additional medication.
- Do not administer medications from a single-dose vial or IV bag to multiple patients.
- Limit the use of multi-dose vials and dedicate them to a single patient whenever possible.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). http://www.cdc.gov/injectionsafety/providers/provider_faqs.html
CDC guidelines call for medications labeled as “single-dose” or “single-use” to be used for only one patient. This practice protects patients from life-threatening infections that occur when medications get contaminated from unsafe use.
Click here to learn more about the CDC’s Position: Protect Patients Against Preventable Harm from Improper Use of Single-dose/Single-use Vials and organizations that support this safe practice.
Click here for important information about the safe use of insulin pens.