Veteranclaims’s Blog

April 3, 2009

More notice of potential exposure from contaiminated equipment. El Paso Army facility

Filed under: Uncategorized — veteranclaims @ 2:19 pm

Medical notices resulting from potential deadly exposure due to failure to properly seterilize medical equipment is becoming way too common. The Las Vegas Sun editorial makes this point very well. Especially the Jan. 30 reported statement from an Army medical center in El Paso, Texas, saying it was notifying 2,114 diabetic patients that they may have been exposed to blood-borne diseases because of unsanitary insulin injections, the Associated Press reported that 16 of those patients tested positive for hepatitis C.

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http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2009/apr/03/terrifying-notices/
Terrifying notices
Instances of patients needing warning of possible deadly exposure keep recurring

Fri, Apr 3, 2009 (2:05 a.m.)

The need for hospitals and medical clinics to contact past patients, warning them that they might have been exposed to deadly diseases, is becoming far too common.

Las Vegas went through this nightmare a year ago.

More than 40,000 patients who had undergone colonoscopies at the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada were notified that unsanitary injection procedures at the clinic had possibly exposed them to hepatitis C, hepatitis B and HIV. More than 100 of those patients likely contracted hepatitis C at the clinic, the Southern Nevada Health District later reported.

The latest in a string of notifications made news last week. The Associated Press reported that 11,460 veterans who had undergone colonoscopies and other procedures at Veterans Affairs facilities in Tennessee, Florida and Georgia were notified that they could have been exposed to infectious diseases after improper use of endoscopic equipment by medical staff.

On Jan. 30 an Army medical center in El Paso, Texas, released a statement saying it was notifying 2,114 diabetic patients that they may have been exposed to blood-borne diseases because of unsanitary insulin injections. This month the Associated Press reported that 16 of those patients tested positive for hepatitis C.

New York, New Jersey, Nebraska and Oklahoma are other states where large notifications have been required. After the Oklahoma incident in 2002, in which more than 100 people were infected with hepatitis C, it was found that a nurse anesthetist serving two surgical centers and a pain management clinic had been reusing needles.

The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists followed up by sending letters to medical facilities across the country. The message: Do not reuse needles.

Warnings about needles and medical equipment have also been issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is time for the CDC to study why medical staff keep repeating basic mistakes. Additionally, states should more tightly regulate and more frequently inspect medical facilities, and prosecutors should aggressively seek criminal convictions when notifications are necessary because of negligence or a desire to cut costs.

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