Vol 14 Edition 1

In Brief

New syringe hope

A new range of syringes is expected to soon reach Australia’s NSPs. In November, UK-based Exchange Supplies applied for Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) medical device approval for their 1ml ‘Unisharp fixed’ syringes.

The syringes have plungers in a range of colours to help prevent accidental sharing. A spokesman for the supplier says he hopes TGA approval will be granted next month and syringes added to state and territory syringe supply contracts.

Canada challenge on prison needles

Canadian nurses will tell senior judges about why sterile needles are vital in prisons during a landmark legal case.

The Prison Needle Syringe Program Nursing Coalition will present research to Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice, which is dealing with a lawsuit filed by four HIV/AIDS agencies and a former inmate who contracted hepatitis C during his incarceration. The suit challenges the constitutionality of the decision to treat sterile needles and syringes as “contraband” and seeks an order that will bring needle exchange programs to federal prisons.

Ambo call-outs up

Ice-related incidents causing ambulance call-outs have been significantly up across the board in Victoria, says a new report.

Turning Point’s Ambo Project: Alcohol and Drug Related Ambulance Attendances for 2014-15 cites 2,271  ice (crystal methamphetamine) related call-outs across the state.

In metropolitan Melbourne, the most substantial increases for ambulance attendances were for crystal methamphetamine (up 45 per cent), all amphetamines (34 per cent) and other stimulants (31 per cent). In regional Victoria, call-outs for heroin (with response to naloxone) were up 97 per cent, 86 per cent for other stimulants and 58 per cent for crystal methamphetamine.

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