When a medication or drug comes with a “single-dose” or “single-use” labeling, it is specifically required to be used for a single patient, and must not be used for multiple patients. However, the use of single-dose or single-use vials for multiple patients is fairly common at hospitals around the country. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is warning that such practices may have a detrimental effect on patient safety, and may contribute to infections.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a report in which it followed two serious epidemics that were traced to the use of single-use vials for multiple patients. These cases occurred in Arizona and Delaware, where a total of 10 patients were reported hospitalized due to life-threatening MRSA or staph infections. The infections were traced to the use of single-dose vials of contrast agents on multiple patients. Contrast agents are used to provide clearer x-ray images.