sk-syringe-cp-[file]3699226

A dose of medication is drawn from a vial into a syringe. The correct practice since 1997 has been to use a syringe one time only. ((CP))

Saskatchewan's chief medical health officer says the risk that anyone in the province contracted a disease from some improperly reused syringes is too low to worry about.

Dr. Moira McKinnon said no more follow-up is necessary in the five health regions where the unsafe practice was discovered in 2008.

In the cases studied, patients were being treated with medication that entered their bodies through an intravenous bag attached to their arms.

A dose of medication was drawn from a vial and injected into a port on the intravenous system. The same syringe would then be reused to inject another dose of medication in another patient's intravenous system.

That practice was found to be unsafe in 1997 but carried on until 2008 in almost half the health regions in Saskatchewan.

McKinnon, however, said the risk that the patients involved would be contaminated with a blood-borne disease because of the reuse was very small. In her report, she said the odds were one in a million to three in a million.

The health regions that were examined were: Sun Country, Cypress, Sunrise, Prince Albert Parkland, Prairie North.