Reports from the Associated Press and the US Army have stated that 16 patients have tested positive for Hep B and C, most likely due to improper injection practices.
“According to the AP, the 16 patients at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center were just a fraction of the more than 2,000 diabetics who may have been exposed to Hepatitis B (HBV) and Hepatitis C (HBC) and other blood borne illnesses. The AP noted that the Army said multiple patients had been administered injections from the same insulin pen. Texas’ El Paso Times reported that each insulin pen is meant for use by one person, but between August 2007 and January 2009, multiple patients were injected with the insulin pens. According to Journal Now, multiple patients were “systematically” injected with the same pen.”
The CDC has been working on a ten year long review of patients put at risk for “potentially deadly, blood-borne infectious diseases”. According to the CDC, over 60,000 patients were places at risk, and thousands of patients have to undergo testing for HBV and HCV due to improper infection control practices.
“According to the CDC’s report, health care personnel failing to follow basic infection control procedures and “aseptic” techniques in injection safety is to blame for the patients’ exposure. The CDC said that syringe reuse and medication, equipment, and device blood contamination were common reasons for the exposure issues.”
The importance of medical hygiene is not an affliction of the past. It’s not only in developing countries- it’s happening in our own backyards, and it’s important that we begin to recognize it and educate our health care workers to the importance of basic hygienic functions.