Injection Safety Information for Patients and Families
Injection safety is a set of steps healthcare providers follow to perform injections in a way that is safe for everyone including patients, healthcare providers, and others. Providers should never reuse a needle or syringe in any situation. For example, a syringe should never be reused to withdraw medication from a vial or be reused on more than one patient, even if the needle is changed.
In other words, providers should use One Needle, One Syringe, and only One Time.
Why is Injection Safety So Important?
Unsafe injection practices can be a serious threat to your health and cause infections like hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV. If you or your family member receive any type of injection or intravenous therapy, pay attention to safe injection practices.
What to Pay Attention to When Receiving an Injection?
When receiving an injection, your provider should:
- Wash their hands
- Prepare your medication in a clean, dedicated medication area
- Disinfect the top of the medication vial to avoid contamination
- Use a new needle and a new syringe every time
- Use single-use (single-dose) medication vials whenever possible
If your provider must use multi-dose medication vials, make sure to ask if he/she:
- Is using a new needle and syringe to draw medication
- Dedicating a multiple-dose vial for each patient
- Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) developed an Injection Safety Brochure (PDF) with information about safe medical injection practices for patients.
Injection Safety For Persons With Diabetes
If you or your family member are diabetic, make sure you and your provider are following basic injection safety practices:
- Never share insulin pens, fingerstick devices, needles, or syringes with other people. These devices are intended for single-person use only!
- If possible, do not share blood glucose monitors. If you must share, make sure it has been properly cleaned and disinfected according to manufacturer’s instructions before using it.
- Do not share a blood glucose monitor if the manufacturer does not provide cleaning/disinfection instructions.
- For more information about the safe use of insulin pens, see CDC’s Insulin Pen Safety Brochure (PDF)