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Health Team

Experts urge patients to ask questions before getting injections

Posted January 9, 2013 5:45 p.m. EST
Updated January 9, 2013 7:12 p.m. EST

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has documented 48 outbreaks in the country related to unsafe injections since 2001.

More than 150,000 patients have been exposed or potentially exposed to infection from needles, syringes and single-dose medication vials that have been reused.

Dr. Zack Moore, an epidemiologist with the North Carolina Division of Public Health, said those numbers are just the tip of the iceberg because tracking down the source of infections can be difficult.

The state is reaching out to health care providers and their patients with an awareness campaign.

“Our main message with this campaign is it's the ‘One and Only’ campaign, which is one needle and one syringe and only one time,” Moore said.

Whether in a doctor's office, pharmacy clinic, hospital, nursing home or long-term care facility, shortcuts may be taken that put the patient at risk.

Dr. Moore advises patients to ask their health care provider if a new needle, new syringe and new vial is being used for every procedure.