Injection Safety

Injection Safety has become a major concern in recent years, not only in New York State but across the nation. While most healthcare providers follow proper procedures when preparing and administering injectable medications, there are increasing reports of incidents where providers do not adhere to basic infection control practices.

Lapses in correct procedure, as outlined in the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) "Standard Precautions" of 2007, can lead to transmission of serious bloodborne pathogens, including hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Furthermore, the CDC has documented the transmission of potentially life-threatening bacterial infections when healthcare providers incorrectly access single-dose vials (which typically lack preservatives) more than once, for multiple patients. The bottom line is: these are preventable transmissions of disease.

This “Profile in Injection Safety” features Susan “Sam” Miller, RNC, Infection Control Coordinator, RN, Ed. Sam is a teacher, a mentor, and a champion of safe injection practices, who shuns “workarounds” no matter how busy she is. And she inspires colleagues and students to do the same. Please click on this video highlighting Sam’s efforts to ensure that every injection given in her institution is administered safely, every time.

How large is this problem?

  • The Safe Injection Practices Coalition (SIPC), an organization of healthcare-related groups of which CDC is a member, says since 2001, over 150,000 US patients have been told they may have been exposed to serious infection because of unsafe injection practices.
  • The actual number may be larger as these are only the cases CDC knows about. Tracing the source of infection to a healthcare setting can be difficult.

New York State Department of Health Joins the SIPC's One & Only Campaign

In 2009, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) joined the One & Only Campaign as a charter "partner state".

  • This public health education campaign aims to raise awareness among both patients and providers that they should insist on nothing less than "One Needle, One Syringe, Only One Time," for each and every injection.

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