Safe injection and infusion practices


Intravenous literature: Dolaon, S.A., Barnes, S., Cox, T.R., Felizardo, G., Patrick, M. and Ward, K.S. (2009) APIC Position Paper: Safe Injection, Infusion and Medication Vial Practices in Healthcare. APIC.

Introductory text:

“The transmission of bloodborne viruses and other microbial pathogens to patients during routine healthcare procedures continues to occur due to unsafe and improper injection, infusion and medication vial practices being used by healthcare professionals within various clinical settings throughout the United States.

Breaches in safe injection, infusion and medication vial handling practices continue to result in unacceptable and devastating events for patients. More than 35 outbreaks of viral hepatitis have occurred in the United States in the past 10 years due to these unsafe practices and other breaches of infection prevention procedures. These outbreaks have resulted in the transmission of either hepatitis B or C to more than 500 patients. The unsafe practices that were used by physicians and/or nurses in these outbreaks can be categorized by:

  1. syringe reuse between patients during parenteral medication administration to multiple patients;
  2. contamination of medication vials or intravenous (IV) bags by accessing them with a used syringe and/or needle;
  3. failure to follow basic injection safety practices when preparing and administering parenteral medications to multiple patients;
  4. inappropriate use of fingerstick devices and glucometer equipment between patients”.

Click here for the full position statement.


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