In March, seven people came into a Delaware hospital with the same strain of MRSA. All of these patients had infections in their joints and had gotten injections in those joints at the same orthopedic clinic within a three-day span. Health officials investigated these cases and found that the clinic had used the same needle to inject multiple patients, which spread the MRSA bacteria.
Similar situations occurred in Arizona and Colorado, with more serious worries about the spread of HIV and hepatitis due to reused syringes that injected medication through patients’ IV lines. The invention of the disposable syringe 150 years ago was meant to eliminate the issue of dirty needles, but this is still a problem that faces the medical industry today. Since 2001, more than 150,000 patients throughout the country have been victims of dirty needles, which led to at least 49 disease outbreaks and many victims suffering from life-threatening diseases like MRSA and hepatitis. Some studies suggest that more than five percent of clinicians don’t follow accepted safety standards.
Data obtained by the federal and state governments show unsafe injections are more common in clinics, smaller outpatient facilities, and long-term care centers than in acute care hospitals, but it can be something to worry about in any type of medical facility.