Invasive Staphylococcus aureus Infections Associated With Pain Injections and Reuse of Single-Dose Vials

Arizona and Delaware, 2012

Shoana Anderson, MPH; Jessica Rigler, MPH; Vinita Oberoi, MPH; Cara Christ, MD; Paula Eggers; Jason Lempp, MPH; Melissa Schaefer, MD; Alice Guh, MD; Heather O'Connell, PhD; Valerie Albrecht, MPH; Joseph Perz, DrPH;  


Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 2012;61(27):501-504. 

In This Article


Transmission of life-threatening bacterial infections can occur when health-care personnel do not adhere to Standard Precautions and instead use medication in containers labeled as single-dose or single-use for more than one patient.[1] This report summarizes the investigation of two outbreaks of invasive Staphylococcus aureus infection confirmed in 10 patients being treated for pain in outpatient clinics. In each outbreak, the use of single-dose or single-use vials (SDVs) for more than one patient was associated with infection transmission. In both investigations, clinicians reported difficulty obtaining the medication type or vial size that best fit their procedural needs. These outbreaks are a reminder of the serious consequences that can result when SDVs are used for more than one patient. Clinician adherence to safe injection practices, particularly when appropriately sized SDVs are unavailable, is important to prevent infection transmission. If SDVs must be used for more than one patient, full adherence to U.S. Pharmacopeia standards is critical to minimize the risks of multipatient use.


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