Ask HRC: Safe Practices for Multi-Dose Vials

October 4, 2011 | Healthcare Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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An ECRI Institute member recently inquired about safe practices when using multi-dose vials. Medication administration issues surrounding such vials have led to numerous public health issues, particularly when multi-dose vials are used on multiple patients. These incidents have led to thousands of patients being tested for bloodborne pathogens such as HIV, hepatitis B virus, and hepatitis C virus.

Noting the economic concerns facing many healthcare organizations, particularly community-based hospitals, health centers, and clinics, the ECRI Institute member first asked about safe practices regarding discarding multi-dose vials after they are opened? Also, the member asks, what is the best practice for preserving a vaccine already prepared after the patient refuses administration? For example, the member asks, should the syringe be labeled with the name,...

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