Anesthesiologists Report Dangerous Injection Practices, Study Finds

Anesthesiologists sometimes use the same vials of medication for more than one patient, and anesthesia residents frequently reuse syringes on different patients, according to a new survey conducted by the New York State Society of Anesthesiologists and the New York City Department of Health and reported in Anesthesiology News.

Nearly 49 percent of anesthesiologists surveyed said they sometimes used the same vials of medication for more than one patient, which is strictly prohibited with many kinds of drugs. Thirty-one percent of physicians who said they used propofol added that they had used the same vial on multiple patients. Around 25 percent of anesthesiologists reported not always using a new needle and syringe to take medication from a vial.

The survey also found that four anesthesia residents in New York State (8 percent) said they had reused syringes on different patients. Attending physicians were less likely to admit to reusing syringes, at 2 percent.

Anesthesiologists said they are pushed to reuse medication vials because of ongoing drug shortages and efforts to reduce waste. The researchers added that some physicians who said they reused syringes may not have understood the question.

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