Between 2000 and 2004, four large outbreaks of hepatitis B and hepatitis C viral infections among patients in ambulatory care facilities were attributed to either the reinsertion of used needles into multi-dose vials or solution containers; or the use of a single needle/syringe to administer intravenous medications to multiple patients.1 These unsafe injection practices indicate that some HCP are unaware of, do not understand, or do not adhere to basic principles of infection control and aseptic techniques.
Safe injection practices in oral healthcare settings include the use of sterile, single-use, disposable needles/syringes for each patient; the use of single-dose vials of therapeutic agents; and administering local anesthetics from a cartridge to a single patient. To ensure that all HCP understand and adhere to recommended practices, principles of infection control and aseptic techniques must be reinforced in training programs and incorporated into institutional policies (Box B).1,3
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