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CDC toolkit highlights safe injection practices

Monday June 4, 2012
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a toolkit to assist individuals and organizations with educating healthcare providers and patients about safe injection practices.

Partners of the Safe Injection Practices Coalition helped create the materials in this toolkit and distribute them throughout their individual organizations.

The materials have broad application among healthcare providers of most specialty types and across all healthcare settings, according to the CDC. Within a healthcare setting, these materials can be distributed at staff meetings, incorporated into employee training (such as during Occupational Safety and Health Administration bloodborne pathogen training), posted in public areas and linked to internal databases or websites.

Outside of the healthcare setting, these materials can be linked to local and state medical boards, highlighted in media outlets and discussed during public presentations. Links to print materials, multimedia materials and additional resources are available at http://bit.ly/L6dW2n.

Hard copies of the materials can be ordered free of charge at http://1.usa.gov/KdcM9A.

A widespread problem

A study published in April in the journal Medical Care found 35 patient notification events related to unsafe injection practices in at least 17 states, resulting in notification to an estimated 130,198 patients. Of these incidents, 73% occurred in outpatient settings and 74% took place in 2007 or later.

The primary breach identified — in at least 16 of the 35 events — was syringe reuse to access shared medications (such as single-dose or multidose vials). Of the notifications, 63% stemmed from the identification of viral hepatitis transmission and 37% from the discovery of unsafe injection practices — but with no evidence of bloodborne pathogen transmission.

"Unsafe injection practices represent a form of medical error that have manifested as large-scale adverse events, affecting thousands of patients in a wide variety of healthcare settings," the study authors wrote.

The study abstract is available at http://bit.ly/MYBIBs.

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