October 2015

Methodist Monday – Leah’s perspective

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Leah Mittermeier, a Junior Level Nursing Student at Nebraska Methodist College, shares her perspectives on injection safety

Hearing Evelyn McKnight’s story really put into perspective what could go wrong if safe injection practices don’t take place. As a nurse I would feel so much shame in knowing my actions threatened people’s lives. I want to be as knowledgeable as possible with injections to ensure every patient I come in contact with is safe.

Being a patient safety advocate means speaking up anytime you see anything that could put a patient in danger. I know that it could be awkward confronting a colleague who was practicing unsafely, but at the end of the day, the patient’s safety and well being should come first. It is our responsibility as nurses to speak up for our patients. They might not realize that an unsafe practice is going on, so it is our responsibility to be on watch for anything threatening to the patient.

I’m very inspired to meet someone who had such a terrible experience and turn it into a learning opportunity for the world. I was impressed how calm Evelyn McKnight is after the experience and the fact that she doesn’t seem to hold grudges against the people involved.

Lesson learned? Medical office reopens after Hep C outbreak

Lauren Lollini is a patient safety advocate who has been integral in changing laws to keep patients safe as well as a member of the Drug Diversion Prevention Committee.
Lauren Lollini is a patient safety advocate who has been integral in changing laws to keep patients safe as well as a member of the Drug Diversion Prevention Committee.

Earlier this year, I commented on the closure of a medical office in Santa Barbara for various infection control violations. It was in the first half of the year and I was feeling hopeful because in 2014 none of the investigations which took place were found to have any infectious disease transmissions. And then in early April news spread the office of Dr. Allen Thomashefsky’s was being investigated.

I felt it important to report again on this situation almost 6 months later as the office was given the approval to re-open last month. Am I disappointed that his practice was able to stay open in Oregon with certain restrictions in place? Am I saddened that this California office was able to be re-opened? Not as long as the proper procedures are implemented.
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Reused syringes causes infection control breach in New Jersey

Lauren Lollini is a patient safety advocate who has been integral in changing laws to keep patients safe as well as a member of the Drug Diversion Prevention Committee.
Lauren Lollini is a patient safety advocate who has been integral in changing laws to keep patients safe as well as a member of the Drug Diversion Prevention Committee.

Last week, reports of a nurse administering flu shots to 67 employees in New Jersey was found to be reusing syringes. While the risk for transmission appears to be low in this incident, it is yet another reminder about how easy the episode of exposure for an infectious disease can be. One shortcut taken either to save time or money can put patients at risk for HIV, Hepatitis B or C.

More than 150,000 patients have been told, over the last 10 years, they needed to get tested following a syringe misuse to include syringe reuse. Despite the protocols put into effect by the CDC, we continue to hear stories of patients put into harm’s way.
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