By Ally Jamah
The first experiments with intravenous injections were done in 1642 in eastern Germany.
Christopher Wren, an astronomer, mathematician and architect at Oxford, England, and a group of scientists working with physicist Robert Boyle did similar experiments in 1656.
The studies were prompted by new knowledge about blood circulation provided by William Harvey in 1628.
The first books on the application of intravenous infusion in humans were published in Germany between 1664 and 1667.
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Medical injections are the most common health care procedure worldwide. Performed correctly, they can save lives. But if handled improperly, they can transmit diseases, including HIV and Hepatitis B.
However, the risks can be reduced drastically by lowering the number of unsafe and unnecessary injections. Safe medical injection practices protect not only patients, but also local community members and health care workers who are routinely exposed to needles and other medical kit.
Drug addicts are also exposed to risks related to injections. Many share a syringe to inject narcotics such as heroine intravenously. This abuse is blamed for the spread of HIV and Aids among addicts.
In the US, the President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (Pepfar) supports efforts to reduce unnecessary medical injections and to make the necessary ones safer.
The initiative supports training for health care workers in medical precautions to reduce the risk of blood-borne infections, and helps procure safety boxes for sharps, medical waste management gear and protective clothing.