99 Nebraskans were infected with Hepatitis C when a nurse reused syringes during chemotherapy administration in 2000.
34 Coloradans contracted Hepatitis C when a surgical technician injected herself with painkillers, then used the same syringe on patients.
150,000 Americans have been placed at risk for contracting deadly diseases when medical personnel reused syringes and other medical equipment intended for one time use in the past decade.
These numbers are staggering, numbing. But as alarming as these numbers are, they are inadequate in expressing the scope and depth of the problem of unsafe injection practices in the United States. It is the real life stories of the survivors that allow us to understand the absolute, immediate necessity of injection safety.
As survivors ourselves, we know firsthand how pervasively an outbreak affects lives. Everything changes for victims – their health, family life, ability to work, emotional well being. The community in which they live reels from the resulting litigation and damage to the medical community’s reputation.
We are honored that many victims of outbreaks come to us with their stories of survival. Our aim in our weekly blog “Survivor Stories” is to tell these stories in order to bring national attention to this preventable but widespread medical disaster. We hope that by bringing light to the stories of real Americans who contracted disease through reuse of syringes and misuse of medication vials, we will advance the safe injection movement even further.
Along with telling survivors’ stories, we will share the educational, engineering and policy efforts in place and those proposed to prevent unsafe injections. Guest bloggers will frequently join us to comment on injection safety – and tell their stories. We want to use these stories and information to foster a healthcare system in which no American will have a story to tell about going to the doctor seeking good health, but coming away with a deadly disease.
The problem of unsafe injections affects all Americans, and it will take the commitment of all Americans to solve. We hope that you will share this blog with all your associates. If you have a story to tell about your personal experience with unsafe injections, please contact us at evelyn@HONOReform.org. And please – join us in insisting on “One needle, One syringe, and Only one time!
Evelyn & Lauren