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A survey of 35 hospitals in the United Kingdom has uncovered a wide variety of syringe drug labels. Use of different systems in different hospitals may result in wrong drug administrations, particularly when trainees move from one hospital to another. There is an urgent need to standardise the colour coding of syringe labels in the United Kingdom. Such standards are already in place in Australia, New Zealand and in the United States of America. This survey of syringe drug labels highlights the existing risks and recommendations for change are made.