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Am J Infect Control. 2010 Dec;38(10):789-98. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2010.09.003.

Injection practices among clinicians in United States health care settings.

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  • 1Premier Safety Institute, Premier Healthcare Alliance, 13034 Ballantyne Corporate Place, Charlotte, NC 28277, USA.



Improper use of syringes, needles, and medication vials has resulted in patient-to-patient transmission of bloodborne pathogens, including hepatitis C virus. This study examined the injection practices of health care providers to identify trends and target opportunities for education on safe practices.


An on-line survey was conducted in May and June 2010 of clinicians in US health care settings that prepare and/or administer parenteral medications.


The majority of the 5446 eligible respondents reported injection practices consistent with current recommendations. However, the following unsafe practices were identified: 6.0% "sometimes or always" use single-dose/single-use vials for more than 1 patient; 0.9% "sometimes or always" reuse a syringe but change the needle for use on a second patient; 15.1% reuse a syringe to enter a multidose vial and then 6.5% save that vial for use on another patient (1.1% overall).


Unsafe injection practices represent an ongoing threat to patient safety. Ensuring safe injection practices in all health care settings will require a multifaceted approach that focuses on surveillance, oversight, enforcement, and continuing education.

Copyright © 2010 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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