Model injection corner for SAT Hospital

C. Maya

Concern over unsafe injection practices

Thiruvananthapuram: A Model Injection Corner (MIC) will be set up at the immunisation clinic at SAT Hospital as part of a nation-wide initiative launched by Indian Clinical Epidemiology Network (IndiaCLEN) to reduce the irrational prescription of injections and demonstrate the safe and recommended method of giving injections.

The initiative follows a study on injection practices conducted by IndiaCLEN in 2002-04 at 84 centres, which reported that 47.5 per cent of the injections administered in Kerala, in both Government and private sector, are unsafe. 14.2 per cent of all injections given in the State carry the potential risk of transmission of blood borne infections like Hepatitis B and HIV.

The injection corners are being set up in 25 medical schools across the country, one being the SAT Hospital here. The aim of the initiative is to create awareness among and impart training to prescribers and injection-givers nurses, laboratory technicians, dental surgeons, doctors and medical students on safe injection practices and proper disposal of syringes.

The project will be jointly implemented here by the Clinical Epidemiology and Research Centre of Medical College Hospital (MCH) and the Child Development Centre. An apex committee, chaired by the Medical College Principal, has been set up for the smooth conduct of the programme.

According to the guidelines of WHO and Safe Injections Global Network, an injection is termed unsafe if it carries the risk of transmitting viruses like HIV or HBV to a person owing to improper sterilisation. Faulty techniques can also make an injection unsafe.

The injection safety study had found 75 per cent of health care facilities in Kerala to be using plastic disposable syringes. However, in some facilities, while the needle was destroyed, there was the practice of sterilising and re-using plastic syringes and this could be potentially dangerous.

MICs are part of the strategy to enhance safe injection practices by demonstrating a clean injection area, proper techniques of administering injections, handling and sterilising the equipment, sterilising the injection site and disposal of needles and syringes.

Proper waste disposal and awareness creation on rational prescription of injections are two important aspects being stressed upon.

Doctors and nurses at the MCH are currently undergoing training programmes on safe injection practices.

There will be a hub-cutter machine to destroy used needles and syringes. Since August 2005, all immunisation centres have been following the Centre's directive to use only auto-disabled syringes.

The safe injection practice-training programme will also be taken to the periphery in a small way and the health centre at Pangappara will be developed as the second MIC in the district. Once streamlined, the project will be extended to the private sector hospitals as well.