- Aug 14, 2012
A new report from the Government Accountability Office on patient safety indicates that at least 18 hepatitis outbreaks occurred in a ten-year period in ambulatory care settings due to a failure to use safe injection practices. Other potential breaches in infection prevention include failure to properly sterilize instruments. Unsafe injection practices and other breaches, including failure to properly sterilize instruments or perform hand hygiene and change gloves, have also been reported elsewhere in dental settings. Examples include an outbreak of hepatitis in a VA clinic, and patients in another state have recently been tested for infection by bloodborne pathogens following a breach that involved re-use of needles and syringes by a dentist during the administration of intravenous medications. The problem is not confined to one geographic area or region.
Safe injection practices are mandated–an aseptic technique must be used and single-use, disposable items including needles, syringes, carpules/vials, tubing, bags/pouches and bottles containing single-use injectable medications must all be appropriately disposed of after use in a single patient to prevent the risk of disease transmission.