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Clinic Staff Infect Patients By Re-using Drug Vials

Fri, 07/13/2012 - 5:30am

A shortage of properly packaged drugs could be putting patients at risk, federal health officials said on Thursday. They warned about clinics giving injections to more than one patient from vials designed for use for just one patient.

Ten patients in Arizona and Delaware were hospitalized with serious infections they got when clinic staff injected them with drugs taken from vials meant for one-time use in recent months, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. Another patient was found dead at home after getting one of the injections, although it couldn’t be proven the infection killed the patient. Last April, staff at one clinic in Delaware managed to infect nine patients with bacteria from their own bodies.

The CDC said the cases illustrate a growing problem -- there have been 20 such incidents since 2007.

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