"Obama's An Idiot" is where my political bitches now live. Go ye thereto and read.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Guts And Butts Lab

This is so fucking monumentally stupid, I can't even fathom the extent:

Health District notifies patients of potential exposure to hepatitis C urges testing for approximately 40,000 patients

LAS VEGAS - The Southern Nevada Health District announced it is notifying approximately 40,000 patients of a local medical clinic about potential exposure to hepatitis C following an investigation of several acute cases of the illness.

The joint investigation identified the re-use of syringes (not needles) and the use of single dose vials of anesthesia medication on multiple patients as the potential sources of contamination.
Good gawd. It would seem that something like this would be discussed in medical school, maybe in a course called "How To Not Kill People - 101".

My understanding according to another article I read was that the employees were told to reuse those syringes. Personally, I would have questioned it. But then, what do I know? I'm a computer nerd with no medical training.

There is a class action suit already in the works, of course. (Jeebus. Can you imagine the number of lawyers circling the skies above that clinic?) But if a patient finds out they are infected, what's a good sum of money to expect as a settlement in exchange for your life, or at least a good portion of it?

So far, they're asking $10,000 apiece. I would think it would be more, but maybe if they try to extend too much, they'll just get stiffed. You can bet the doctors, the clinic, everyone involved will just file bankruptcy and close the doors anyway.



Miss Sassy said...

Lemme get this right - they didn't re-use the needles, they use single dose drugs, and because of this the clinic (in my world that means "runs on donations from citizens and gov't to treat the not-wealthy") told their staff it's ok to reuse the holster, and STILL someone jacked it up???
Sure, it sucks to go to get better and come out with a disease, but did the thing fall in a puddle of bio-ick to catch it in the first place???
This is why I haven't been to the doc since I had strep throat 7 years ago.

curmudgeon said...

According to the story I read, you are correct. They didn't re-use the needles, but they did re-use syringes, and they used multiple dose vials of anesthesia. Which, if you pull out a fresh hypodermic every time, wouldn't be an issue.

Now before you draw liquid from the vial, you have to draw the syringe back empty and fill it with air proportionate to the dose of fluid you are going to inject. They stick the needle in the vial, push the air out and draw the dose. By injecting that volume of air into the vial, they don't create a vacuum.
So now the way I understand it is that they would pull out a fresh syringe with a brand new needle on it for one patient, suck some air, poke the vial, draw the liquid, then they poke the patient to inject them. When they poke the patient, they draw the syringe back a bit and see if blood comes up the needle. This verifies that they've either poked them in muscle tissue or a vein. So at that time, blood may now be within the liquid chamber of the syringe. They then push the syringe and inject the dose into the patient.

So now the next patient comes in and they use the same syringe again. Now this time, the syringe has a bit of the other dose of medicine, along with possibly someone else's blood from the previous procedure. So they suck some air in, put the needle in the vial, and pump the air in. They push the remnants of any blood left in the syringe right into the vial. They've now contaminated the vial.
Since they're using the same syringe, there could still be remnants that would still get into the next patient even if they don't use that same vial.

What idiots.