Safe injection practices include measures taken to perform injections in a manner that is safe for patients and providers. Such measures are included in standard infection prevention practices and apply to all patients in all healthcare settings. Healthcare should not provide a pathway for transmission of bloodborne viruses to patients or providers.

This website addresses safe injection practices for patients. Please visit our needlestick prevention website that addresses worker safety.

Improper use of syringes, needles, and medication vials during routine healthcare procedures, such as administering injections have resulted in more than 50 outbreaks and 150,000 patient notifications in U.S. hospital and non-hospital settings with transmission of bloodborne viruses, including hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus to more than 600 patients. These outbreaks resulted from failure to follow basic infection control procedures and aseptic technique in injection safety, including reusing syringes, contaminating multi-dose vials with unclean syringes, using single-dose vials for multiple patients, re-using end-caps from single-use syringes, using fingerstick devices on multiple patients without cleaning, and using blood-sugar measuring devices on multiple patients without cleaning.

Safe Injection Practices Survey

The Premier Safety Institute conducted a survey which assessed the injection practices of 5,446 healthcare professionals who prepare or administer parenteral and injectable medications in collaboration with 10 professional and healthcare organizations, including AAAA, AAAHC, AACN, ASHP, APIC, INS, Innovatix, PRHI, SHEA and SGNA.

The research found that between 1 and 6 % of healthcare practitioners surveyed engaged in practices that were not consistent with safe injection practice guidelines, at least some of the time.  Complete findings were published in an article entitled Injection practices among clinicians in United States health care settings, in the December, 2010 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control. This article is available for download at www.ajicjournal.org.

Follow up research conducted by the CDC in 2017 found that 12% of physicians and 3% of nurses were aware of syringe reuse in their workplace.  The research was published in an article entitled One needle, one syringe, only one time? A survey of physician and nurse knowledge, attitudes, and practices around injection safety, in the September, 2017 issue of the American Journal of Infection Control. The complete article is available for download at www.ajicjournal.org.

Resources

Safe infection practices are included in CDC Guideline for Isolation Precautions in Hospitals and a number of key documents to educate patients and providers are available on the CDC website.

The Safety Institute is a member of the Safe Injection Practices Coalition (SIPC), a partnership of healthcare-related organizations, patient advocacy organizations, industry partners, and other public health partners, led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The SIPC and CDC have developed a public health campaign to raise awareness among patients and healthcare providers about safe injection practices called the One & Only Campaign. Visit the One & Only Campaign website for more information and resources related to safe injection practices.

Visit our resources page for additional guidelines, tools, audiovisuals, brochures and other materials on Safe Injection Practices available from the following organizations:

  • American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA)
  • Association for Professional in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC))
  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
  • Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • HONOReform Foundation
  • Joint Commission
  • New York State injection practices pilot
  • Nevada State Medical Association
  • World Health Organization (WHO)