Friday, February 06, 2009

Still Happening?

How is it that your average junkie on the street knows not to share needles, but these nurses f**k it up?
Unsafe injection practices are one of the leading causes of infections in doctors' offices, outpatient clinics and long-term-care facilities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although most health-care workers are aware of the dangers of reusing needles, other injection guidelines aren't always followed, including disposing of syringes after each use. Contaminated shots can lead to transmission of such diseases as hepatitis and HIV, along with other viral and bacterial infections.

If you suspect that I am agitated about this, you are right! I mean, what the heck? I am old enough, just barely, to have started my training when you would run across the occasional glass syringe or stainless steel syringe that were meant to be sterilized and reused. STERILIZED and reused, not just rinsed or just plain reused. I do remember seeing people reuse syringes without sterilizing them, but they were breaking the rules, as are these people.

However, since then, the only places you will find glass syringes or reusable needles are in museums or collections. There is absolutely no excuse for anyone in the health care field to reuse a syringe or, God forbid, a needle. Even if it just to flush a line. You aren't going to save an appreciable amount of money unless you reuse a syringe a couple of thousand times. Heck, it probably won't last that long. These things are inexpensive and made very cheaply.

Maybe these clinics can sign up for a needle exchange program!

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