Research Shows Even Sterile Needles and Syringes May Transmit Hepatitis C Virus

A recent study has identified that transmission of hepatitis is possible even when using sterile needles and syringes. At the fall 2018 meeting of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, Canadian researchers presented findings indicating that even when sterile needles and syringes were used with multi-dose medication vials, it was possible to transmit the hepatitis C virus (HCV) into the vial. The researchers concluded, “HCV can be transferred, via sterile needle and syringe, into medication vials if the diaphragm is contaminated with medically relevant quantities of HCV and the virus remains stable in several commonly used medications. Furthermore, a single swipe of the vial diaphragm with 70% isopropyl alcohol is not sufficient to eliminate HCV infectivity.” Click here to read the study and steps to avoid this risk of contamination.

This is a reminder of the importance of New York State’s “One & Only Campaign” that promotes proper hand hygiene, dedicating multi-dose vials to only one patient when possible and adequate scrubbing of medication vial diaphragms. MLMIC encourages all medical professionals to remain vigilant with use of proper technique for the administration of injectable medications.