100 Partners Work to Promote Safe Injection Practices

image showing a large 1, a syringe, and the campaign information - One needle, one syringe, only one time. Safe Injection Practices Coalition www.oneandonlycampaign.org

While battling a recurrence of breast cancer in 2000, Dr. Evelyn McKnight was infected with hepatitis C virus during her treatment at a local oncology clinic. In total, 99 patients receiving treatment from the same clinic became infected with hepatitis C virus, because their provider failed to follow safe injection practices.

Unfortunately, outbreaks like Dr. McKnight’s happen far too often. Since 2001, there have been at least 50 outbreaks of viral hepatitis or bacterial infections associated with unsafe injection practices in the United States, and this is believed to be the tip of the iceberg. Many of these lapses involved healthcare providers reusing syringes and contaminating medication vials that were then used on other patients. And sometimes, healthcare providers simply do not know or practice the correct injection safety techniques.

What can we do to make sure that the foundation of safe care is strengthened? Efforts to promote safe injection practices are underway. Led by CDC and the Safe Injection Practices Coalition, the One & Only CampaignExternal aims to prevent infections by ensuring that every medical injection is a safe one.

medical provider wearing hair covering and face mask. Her latex gloved hand holds a syringe

The Campaign is made possible by a CDC Foundation partnership with Eli Lilly and Company. With this partnership, the Campaign communicates with healthcare providers about injection safety by disseminating messages and materials through its growing network of more than 100 participating organizationsExternal —a 200% increase in the number of collaborators in just 1 year, who disseminated nearly 100,000 Campaign materials in 2014.

The bottom line is that injection safety is about protecting patients from what could be life-threatening diseases like hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, and other infections.