New CDC Study Shows Many Healthcare Providers Reuse Syringes, Needles, and Single-Dose Vials for Multiple Patients

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A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveyed both doctors and nurses to determine the prevalence of reusing syringes, needles, and medication vials. Edge Pharmacy Services is helping hospitals, surgery centers, and private physician offices come into compliance with CDC guidelines for drawing and administering injections.

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Over 12% of doctors and 3% of nurses responded stating that reuse of syringes for more than a single patient occurs where they work.

A new study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigating the prevalence of reusing syringes, needles, and vials for multiple patients was recently published and brings to light some very important points about keeping patients safe. The study, published in the American Journal of Infection Control, surveyed both physicians and nurses to determine how often these practices are used.

Amazingly, over 12% of doctors and 3% of nurses responded stating that reuse of syringes for more than a single patient occurs where they work. Furthermore, 5% of doctors said that it occurred, "usually or always". In addition, the study showed that 25% of the physicians surveyed utilized single-dose vials for multiple patients, 29% used IV solution from a bag or bottle for more than one patient, and 43% reentered a multidose vial with the same syringe for an additional dose for the same patient.

It is clear that more work needs to be done to educate the medical community of the risks associated with these practices. For example, drawing multiple doses from a preservative-free single-dose vial can result in contaminated doses being administered to patients. Likewise, reentering a vial twice with the same syringe can easily contaminate the contents of the vial with blood-blood infections, such as Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV.

Edge Pharmacy Services is a strong supporter of the One Needle, One Syringe, One Time Campaign. Edge works with hospitals, surgery centers, and private physician offices to help bring providers into compliance with CDC guidelines, as well as USP 797 regulations, for drawing and administering injections. To that end, Edge provides customers with premixed, unit-dose medications which alleviate these issues, making health care safer for both the patient, as well as the providers.

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Joe Kummer, PhD
Edge Pharmacy Services
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