One Needle, One Syringe, Only One Time


To help healthcare workers improve patient safety, the Safe Injection Practices Coalition (SIPC) is launching a new educational video for U.S. healthcare providers that is a straight-to-the-point, 10-minute lesson on safe injection practices.

The video is targeted to healthcare providers who regularly administer or supervise injections and is about their responsibility to protect patients from healthcare-associated infections. The video is based on evidence-based and common sense safe injection practices from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Recent outbreaks and patient notifications show the need for continued training about unsafe injection practices.

The 10-minute video promotes safe injection practices by showing healthcare providers working in situations where injections are given. By dispelling common misperceptions, such as the belief that it is safe to administer medication from single-dose vials to multiple patients, the video discusses basic, evidence-based precautions, that must be used at all times to protect patients and prevent disease transmission due to unsafe injection practices.

"One infection due to unsafe injection practices is unacceptable," says Dr. Michael Bell, deputy director for infection control at CDC and narrator of the video.  "Every healthcare provider has the responsibility to ensure that all injections given to patients are safe, and we hope that this video will help make that happen."

Dr. Evelyn McKnight, Au.D., president and co-founder of the Hepatitis Outbreaks National Organization for Reform (HONOReform) Foundation, and a SIPC member who is featured in the video, was battling a recurrence of breast cancer when she became one of 99 Nebraska cancer patients to be infected with hepatitis C virus because her healthcare providers reused syringes to access a shared bag of saline. 

"By addressing the urgent need for education and heightened awareness about safe injection practices, we hope to avoid further tragedies," says McKnight. "Through this and other Coalition-led educational activities, we hope to make outbreaks due to syringe reuse 'never' events. No patient should ever have to worry about contracting a disease while seeking medical care or treatment."

The video is part of the One & Only Campaign, a national public health education and awareness initiative developed by the SIPC. SIPC is comprised of patient advocacy organizations, foundations, provider associations and industry partners, together with CDC, and has united to halt disease transmission caused by unsafe injection practices in United States healthcare facilities.  The campaign name refers to the importance of healthcare personnel using "one needle, one syringe, only one time" to protect patients from bloodborne viruses and other pathogens. 

Since 1999, more than 125,000 Americans have received letters alerting them of potential exposure to infection with hepatitis viruses or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) due to unsafe injection practices such as the reuse of syringes, according to CDC.

A lack of understanding of and adherence to safe injection practices by healthcare personnel has resulted in more than 30 outbreaks of viral hepatitis and other healthcare-associated infections in the United States since 1999. Most of these outbreaks and infections occurred in non-hospital healthcare facilities, according to CDC. A patient notification resulting from unsafe injection practices at an endoscopy clinic in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2008 required health officials to alert more than 50,000 patients who had been potentially exposed to bloodborne viruses. 

In addition to the toll on physical and emotional health, these outbreaks are costly. The patient notification, response and testing of the hepatitis C outbreak at the Las Vegas, Nevada endoscopy clinic is estimated to have cost between $16 million and $21 million.

The video can be viewed at the One & Only Campaign Web site,

Founded in June 2008, the Safe Injection Practices Coalition is comprised of patient advocacy organizations, foundations, provider associations, industry partners and CDC, and united to halt unsafe injection practices. The Coalition focuses its efforts on advancing and promoting safe injection practices by informing and educating healthcare professionals and the public, especially in outpatient settings. Issues of particular concern include the reuse of syringes and misuse of single-use and multi-dose vials.  In addition to creating and distributing the Safe Injection Practices Video for Healthcare Providers, the Coalition has launched pilot campaigns promoting safe injection practices in Nevada and New York, two states in which disease outbreaks have occurred. 

Coalition partners include the following organizations:  Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC), Ambulatory Surgery Foundation, American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA),  Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. (APIC), BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), CDC Foundation, Covidien, Hospira, HONOReform Foundation, National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO), Nebraska Medical Association (NMA), Nevada State Medical Association (NSMA), and Premier healthcare alliance.


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