New York residents may be interested to know that standardized rules for injections and disposal of needles have continuously been reviewed and tightened for decades. However, according to a presentation by the Institute for Safe Medical Practices, preventable errors are still not being corrected when it comes to injections, leading to secondary illness contracted at the clinic or in the hospital.
A total of 1300 hospitals completed the ISMP assessment back in 2011. Out of those, two percent had yet to implement any type of policy to halt the use of multiple-dose vials for saline and heparin flush solutions or for local anesthetics distributed via an IV syringe. A quarter of those surveyed revealed partial policy implementations.
The misuse and duplicate use of needles in hospital situations have caused problems for the medical community over the last few years. In May of 2013, a New York state hospital revealed the reuse of insulin pens on 5,000 patients, leaving them at risk for HIV or Hepatitis B. In another example, a Center for Disease Control (CDC) investigation discovered the reuse of syringes by a clinic nurse to draw saline solution from a common IV bag during port-flushing procedures in advance of administering chemotherapy. One of those using the syringe had Hepatitis C (HCV), thus spreading it to 99 other patients.
Situations like the given examples can cause both a financial and emotional impact on a patient. Those looking for compensation in any type of medical case either in New York or across the country may wish to consult with a law firm that specializes in medical malpractice to determine their next course of action.
Source: Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News, “Unsafe Injection Practices Remain All Too Common“, David Wild, August 20, 2013