[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
May 2, 1986

Don't Recap Needles, Even on Television

Author Affiliations

Veterans Administration Medical Center Creighton University Medical School Omaha

JAMA. 1986;255(17):2289-2290. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03370170053012

To the Editor.—  Physicians with cable television service that includes the Lifetime channel have easy access to an excellent educational opportunity, the American Medical Association Video Clinics. However, a commercial message recently appearing during the Video Clinics depicts (and appears to condone) a practice that can transmit the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome virus, hepatitis B virus, or other blood-borne microbes. The commercial appears to show a physician using a syringe and needle to inject a metoprolol tartrate bolus into an intravenous line—with the physician then recapping the needle.Health care workers should ignore the example of the commercial. Instead, they should heed the advice of the Centers for Disease Control: "Needles should not be recapped, purposefully bent, broken, removed from disposable syringes, or otherwise manipulated by hand."1 Failure to follow this advice has resulted in transmission of human T-cell lymphotropic virus type III to a British nurse.2The Centers