With the advent of safety needles to prevent inadvertent needle sticks in the operating room (OR), a potentially new issue has arisen. These needles may result in coring, or the shaving off of fragments of the rubber stopper, when the needle is pierced through the rubber stopper of the medication vial. These fragments may be left in the vial and then drawn up with the medication and possibly injected into patients. The current study prospectively evaluated the incidence of coring when blunt and sharp needles were used to pierce rubber topped vials. We also evaluated the incidence of coring in empty medication vials with rubber tops. The rubber caps were then pierced with either an18-gauge sharp hypodermic needle or a blunt plastic (safety) needle. Coring occurred in 102 of 250 (40.8%) vials when a blunt needle was used versus 9 of 215 (4.2%) vials with a sharp needle (P < 0.0001). A significant incidence of coring was demonstrated when a blunt plastic safety needle was used. This situation is potentially a patient safety hazard and methods to eliminate this problem are needed.
- Medication vials
- Patient safety
- Rubber vials
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine