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Safe Injection Practices Prevent Infections

Learn About Safe Injection Practices

Photo: SyringeSafe Injection Practices are a set of recommendations that all healthcare providers should follow in any situation where injections are given. A key recommendation is that providers should use one needle and one syringe only a single time. People don’t often think about it, but injections must be given in a certain way to prevent patients from getting infections. These infections can be serious and life-threatening.

Some examples of unsafe injection practices include:

  1. Reusing a needle or syringe to give medicine to more than one patient
  2. Reusing a needle or syringe to take out medicine from a vial that is used for more than one patient.

Both the needle and syringe must be thrown away once they have been used. It is not safe for healthcare providers to change the needle and reuse the syringe – this practice can spread disease.

Reusing a needle or syringe puts patients in danger of getting hepatitis C virus, hepatitis B virus, HIV, and other infections.

Ask Questions

Healthcare providers are responsible for making sure that every injection they give is safe. You can help protect yourself by asking your healthcare providers what steps they take to ensure that needles and syringes are never reused and that medicines do not become contaminated.


Patients and healthcare providers should insist on nothing less than One Needle, One Syringe, Only One Time for each and every injection. This practice will lower the risk of getting hepatitis and other infections through injections.

One Needle, One Syringe, Only One Time is the slogan of the One & Only Campaign, a public health campaign led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Safe Injection Practices Coalition (SIPC), to raise awareness among patients and healthcare providers about safe injection practices.

More Information

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  • Page last reviewed: May 25, 2010
  • Page last updated: May 25, 2010
  • Content source: National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (proposed), Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion
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