Struck by diabetes, my friend needs to take doses of insulin through injections everyday. This has given rise to a new kind of conflict or rather a war between us, between pain and health. While I have to force her to finally take the injection for the sake of her health, her struggle to face the pain and her fear of getting other additional diseases via the injection each time she visits the doctor raises some serious questions about the injection practices that are prevalent in India. These practices have turned the‘injection’- from the savior of lives to a ‘ harbinger of various diseases’.
Communicable diseases ranging from HIV to Hepatitis are on a rise in India. While there are other reasons as well, one of the major reasons is its transmission due to reuse of injections that takes away thousands of innocent lives. A probable solution to these unsafe injection practices is a revolution wherein every medical facility switches to single-use injections that break after using once thereby, ensuring complete safety.
Some of the unsafe injection practices that are still reported in the country include:
- Using the same syringe to administer medication to more than one patient, even if the needle was changed or the injection was administered through an intervening length of intravenous (IV) tubing.
- Accessing a medication vial or bag with a syringe that has already been used to administer medication to a patient, then reusing contents from that vial or bag for another patient.
- Using medications packaged as single-dose or single-use for more than one patient.
- Failing to use aseptic technique when preparing and administering injections.
To restore the image of the syringe as the ‘savior of lives’ the need of the hour is to switch to safe injection practices. The ones that are aimed at giving the masses a gift of health while minimising the risks to as low as possible. These safe injection practices include:
- Never administer medications from the same syringe to more than one patient, even if the needle is changed or you are injecting through an intervening length of IV tubing.
- Do not enter a medication vial, bag, or bottle with a used syringe or needle.
- Never use medications packaged as single-dose or single-use for more than one patient. This includes ampoules, bags, and bottles of intravenous solutions.
- Always use aseptic technique while preparing and administering injections
So it’s now time to fade away the fears and let health conquer the fears and pain. Let’s unite, stay aware and practice safe!