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CDC Links Injection Practices to Hospitalizations

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, July 16, 2012

Herrera says that an industry-wide concern is that medications don't always come in doses that a clinician would use on a patient at the bedside. "We've heard that some folks are concerned about waste, and certainly there are financial concerns. But at the end of the day, patient safety has to be the first priority."

"There's just a lack of awareness that this practice could put patients at risk," she says.

Additionally, the MMWR notes that the outbreaks in Delaware and Arizona point to the importance of public health experts to identify infection clusters and link them back to healthcare settings.

"Whereas the Delaware facility received infection prevention assistance from an affiliated hospital, the Arizona facility did not have access to a similar resource, apart from the guidance provided by the state and county health departments."

Herrera notes that since 2007, failure to follow accepted injection safety protocols has resulted in at least 20 outbreaks of patients getting infected and about 130,000 patients being notified that they should get tested for a blood borne pathogen.

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