Unsafe Injections in the Developing World and Transmission of Bloodborne Pathogens: A Review
Simonsen, L., Kane, A., Zaffran, M., et al. Bulletin of the World Health Organization (1999), 77(10), pp. 789–800.
This review brings together evidence from published studies and unpublished World Health Organization reports to show that the vast majority of injections in developing countries are therapeutic, most are unnecessary, and up to half are unsafe. Whereas the risk of needle-stick injuries in the general population has been almost eliminated in developed countries, it remains a significant threat to patients in developing countries. In some of the studies reviewed, unsafe injections were linked to blood-borne infections. Although injections account for a small proportion of HIV infections relative to sexual- and drug use–related transmission, they expose populations that would not have otherwise been at risk.