26.2.1  Preparing to give an injection

Using a new sterile syringe and needle for each injection is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of blood-borne infections.

  • Use a new packaged sterile syringe and needle for every injection.
  • Inspect the packaging very carefully. Discard a needle or syringe if the package has been punctured, torn or damaged in any way.
  • Check the expiry date on the package. Never use needles or associated injection materials that are ‘out of date’.
  • Prepare injections in a clean designated area or on a clean surface; in a patient’s home you will need to use a clean dish or tray that you have washed in soap and water, left to air dry and then swabbed with alcohol before laying out the injection equipment.
  • Prepare each dose immediately before administering; do not prepare several syringes in advance.
  • Do not touch the needle. Discard a needle that has touched a non-sterile surface.

26.2  The safe injection of patients

26.2.2  Avoiding needle-stick injuries