A new study published by Mayo Clinic Proceedings shares key data pertaining to adverse patient events resulting from syringe reuse and the mishandling of injectable medications. The study’s authors report, “Since 2001, nearly 200,000 patients in the United States were notified about potential exposure to blood-contaminated medications or injection equipment.” Most of the incidents that occurred between 2012 and 2018 “were prompted by identification of unsafe injection practices alone.”
The findings reinforce the importance of education on and adherence to safe medication injection practices, such as those outlined by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and the Safe Injection Practices Coalition’s One & Only Campaign. To protect patients, CDC reminds physicians to follow the “one needle, one syringe, only one time” policy to ensure that medication from the same syringe is never administered to more than one patient; and a used syringe or needle never enters a vial.
MLMIC encourages all insured facilities, dentists, physicians, and all healthcare providers who administer medications to review their practices for the use of syringes and injectable medications. The following resources can help policyholders mitigate risk of an unsafe injection methods:
- NYSDOH Advisory on Recommendations for BCG Live Single-Use Vials During Shortage, a blog post with guidance on single-use vials during a shortage;
- Research Shows Even Sterile Needles and Syringes May Transmit Hepatitis C Virus, a blog post on preventing transmission of hepatitis through needles and syringes; and
- Safe Injection Practices Essential in Any Health Care Setting, a blog post promoting safe medication injection practices.