Image of someone getting a flu vaccination

APIC: Unsafe Needle Practices Causing Unnecessary Risks

An article appearing in this month's issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine identifies 33 outbreaks of hepatitis B or C virus infection in U.S. outpatient health care settings during the past 10 years caused by unsafe needle and injection practices. The article is reminiscent of last February's highly publicized outbreak in Nevada in which 40,000 people were notified of their possible risk of hepatitis C due to improper use of syringes at a Las Vegas endoscopy clinic. According to Kathy Warye, CEO of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), unsafe injection practices also have been cited at free-standing centers in Nebraska, New York, Michigan, and North Carolina, needlessly exposing hundreds of thousands of patients to life-threatening infections.

"As the nation's largest infection prevention organization, APIC is very concerned by the mounting number of cases in which clinicians in ambulatory care settings failed to follow safe injection practices, causing outbreaks of serious infections and endangering the lives of patients," Warye said in a statement released in conjunction with the Annals article. "These outbreaks were preventable and should never have occurred. Consumers seek health care services to get better and should not be exposed to unnecessary risk."

To increase awareness of the risks and ensure that clinicians understand the basics of safe injection practice, APIC is providing educational resources and expertise and participating in HONOReform, a national coalition formed to bring a halt to unsafe needle practices in outpatient centers, Warye added. "With an increasing amount of care being delivered in outpatient settings, more patients will be put at risk unless clinicians are adequately educated and consistently adhere to infection prevention measures. Clinics should also be concerned about new and more virulent pathogens, such as MRSA, which can be transmitted in outpatient settings, and take a hard look at how they are addressing infection prevention overall," she said.

Among the resources APIC is offering to address the problem are Webinars, newsletters, and a Guide to Infection Control in Ambulatory Care, which Warye says translates CDC guidelines into practice. For tools and more information, visit www.apic.org.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Easy to Use Safety Incident App

    Record incidents on the go with IndustrySafe’s mobile app. Collect data for multiple types of incidents including including near misses, vehicle and environmental incidents, and employee and non-employee injuries; at job sites and remote locations—with or without web access.

  • Safety Training 101

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. IndustrySafe is here to help. We put together a resource that’s easy to digest so you can get answers to your training questions and ensure you're complying with OSHA's standards.

  • Conduct EHS Inspections and Audits

    Record and manage your organization’s inspection data with IndustrySafe’s Inspections module. IndustrySafe’s pre-built forms and checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Track Key Safety Performance Indicators

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations to easily track safety KPIs and metrics. Gain increased visibility into your business’ operations and safety data.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus