We agree with Mr Blenkharn that a timely and coordinated retrieval program for used needles and syringes is part of the solution for preventing community-acquired needlestick injuries (CA-NSIs). However, the cornerstone of CA-NSI prevention is requiring safe disposal of used needles and syringes by the user. We would like to share the successful experience of the Province of Quebec, Canada, as shown by the decrease in CA-NSI incidence observed in pediatric emergency departments in Montreal.

In 2003, the Ministry of Health of the Province of Quebec mandated an advisory committee to review the situation and make recommendations regarding safe recuperation of used needles and syringes. A park clean-up program was put in place that year, and in June 2006, an integrated system for the recuperation of used needles and syringes was launched. As part of this system, the Ministry of Health provides free secure needle-disposal containers (1.4 and 5...

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