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Can a syringe cleaned with bleach be used for taking blood samples?

Q: If a syringe is cleaned with water by flushing at least twice, then it is flushed with a sodium hypochlorite solution or with bleach and then reflushed twice with boiled and sterile water, will the syringe will be safe for use as far as HIV is concerned? Does sodium hypochlorite remain in the syringe and if so, will its mixing with the blood cause any harm?

A:The purpose of flushing at least twice with sterile water is to flush out all the blood in the first instance and all the bleach solution in the second. Sodium hypochlorite is available as crystals and has to be dissolved. Please understand that this is not a substitute for using a sterile disposable syringe but merely to point out that the HIV virus is fragile and easy to kill. In any case it was not recommended for blood collection. Generally one should aim at having between 500 and 1000 parts per million of free chlorine in the syringe which has been cleaned of blood. (in other words a syringe that has been rinsed to appear free of blood, should be filled with a 1 in 100 concentration of household bleach).


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