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Emerg Med J. 2007 January; 24(1): 69.
PMCID: PMC2658169

Preventing glass injuries in the emergency department

Glass vials are widely used in emergency departments. Opening a glass vial can be a complicated task as the vial may shatter, resulting in injury which may require treatment. The authors used a novel and safe technique for opening glass vials. Using a 2 ml syringe, after removing the plunger, the larger open end is placed on top of the vial and the top of the vial is broken off. The glass end is contained in the syringe and may then be safely disposed of (fig 11).). The 2 ml syringe effectively opens 1 ml vials, and a 5 ml syringe is used for opening 10 ml vials. Of importance is that on some vials, there is a blue dot that indicates a weak spot. Ensure that the blue dot is facing away from you and break away from the blue dot towards you.

figure em41905.f1
Figure 1 The top of the vial contained in the syringe.


Competing interests: None.

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