Pharmacy Services

Improving Safety of Injection Practices

June 4, 2013

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report Grand Rounds regarding the risk of potentially life-threatening bacterial and viral infections with improper use of injectable medications. Since 2001, there have been at least 49 infectious disease outbreaks in the US caused by contamination of injectable products during administration. This includes 21 outbreaks of hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and 28 outbreaks of bacterial infections. Unsafe practices include use of single-dose vials for multiple patients and reusing syringes on multiple patients

Use single-dose vials only once wherever possible. Follow the USP Chapter <797> standards when single-dose vials must be used for multiple patients.

CDC has additional resources available online at the following links:

June 4, 2013; University of Utah, Drug Information Service. Copyright 2013 Drug Information Service, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT.