All vials are not created equal

Brought to you by the Premier Safety Institute®

Gina Pugliese, RN, MS, editor program

October 21, 2013


All vials are not created equal

Single-dose and multi-dose vials can come in any shape and size ; you shouldn ’ triiodothyronine assume a phial is a single or multi-dose phial based on size or bulk.
Always check the tag ! Single-dose vials are for consumption on only one patient.

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In recognition of Infection Prevention Week ( October 20-26th ), the Premier Safety Institute® is reminding all healthcare providers about the
importance of proper designation and use of medicine vials. We are besides sharing the new and
active infographic about the consumption of single and multi-dose vials being released by the One & Only Campaign for educating providers and patients .

*Single-dose or multi-dose?

                     Safety Tips
Before the procedure

  • Carefully read the label of the vial of medication.
  • If it says single-dose and it has already been accessed (e.g. needle-punctured), throw it away.
  • If it says multiple-dose, double-check the expiration date
    and the beyond-use date if it was previously opened, and visually
    inspect to ensure no visible contamination
  • When in doubt, throw it out.
  • Use aseptic technique.
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During the procedure

  • Use a new needle and syringe for every injection.
  • Be sure to clean your hands immediately before handling any medication.
  • Disinfect the medication vial by rubbing the diaphragm with alcohol.
  • Draw up all medications in a clean medication preparation area.

After the procedure

  • Discard all used needles and syringes and SDVs after the procedure is over.
  • MDVs should be discarded when:
    • The beyond-use date has been reached
    • doses are drawn in a patient treatment area
    • any time vial sterility is in question

Excerpts from
: One & Only Campaign Infographic : Single-dose phial ( SDV ) or multi-dose phial ( MDV ) .
Ongoing outbreaks – evidence of harm
Since 2001 at least 50 outbreaks involving insecure injection practices were reported to CDC, with hundreds of patients being infected. many of these
outbreaks were related to improper use of both single and multi-dose vials. A individual dose phial typically lacks an disinfectant preservative and can become
contaminated and serve as a source of infection. Multi-dose vials can be used on more than one patient if aseptic technique is followed. however, the CDC
recommends that multi-dose vials be assigned to one patient whenever possible .
CMS enforces policy for single-dose vials for only one patient.

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CMS issued a memo

maintaining its existing policy that a citation will be issued if single-dose vials are re-enter and used for multiple patients. CDC besides issued a
position statement reaffirming its
status that vials labeled by manufacturers as “ single-dose ” or “ single-use ” should only be used for one affected role to protect against dangerous
infections .
Infographic for provider and patient education
The newly active infographic from the One & Only Campaign is
available in two user-friendly formats :

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