Kim James is an employee health nurse at Brookdale Hospital in Brooklyn and member of the New York One & Only Campaign workgroup. Here she talks about her passion for injection safety.
Hello everyone my name is Kim James and I am a nurse practitioner in charge of occupational health at Brookdale hospital. As a nurse practitioner one of my concerns is injection safety, especially among healthcare workers. In doing research for our Informative Day for workers in injection safety, I ran across the CDC’s One and Only Campaign.
In that Campaign I found out and was horrified by the fact that so many consumers have contracted HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C from healthcare providers. That knowledge so moved me that I have decided to really take action and to do my part to help spread the word and to see if I can in any way contribute to stemming this absolutely unfortunate practice.
I have a saying that I will be “clicking my high heels all over the world” as I try to get this message out.
I like to travel and one of the things I like doing is a little bit of community service when I go to visit. So I plan to share this knowledge every place I go. If anyone will listen to me even for a minute, I‘m going to do the very best I can with my last breath to stem unsafe injection practices that are harming our patients.
Evelyn McKnight is a survivor of the Nebraska outbreak, in which 99 cancer patients contracted Hepatitis C through reuse of an IV bag on multiple patients.
One IV Bag, One IV Tubing, and Only One Time
Recently, I had what started out as a minor health situation. But as time went on, I experienced a cascade of health complications which resulted in a not-so-minor situation. I neared dehydration, and I would need IV fluids if my condition continued to deteriorate. The thought of an IV infusion panicked me, and I asked for 24 hours before we began IV fluids.
As I chugged Gatorade, I tried not to think about the last time I had an IV infusion, which was during chemotherapy in 2000. The nurse reused syringes to access a mutidose saline bag. When a nurse used a syringe on a patient with known Hepatitis C and then reused the same syringe to access the IV bag, the IV bag was contaminated. This happened multiple times during the day; in fact, it was found during an investigation by Nebraska Health and Human Services that after a day’s use, the bag was cloudy, pink, with bits of sediment. In this way, 99 Nebraskans contracted Hepatitis C. read more »
Johnny Robertson is a survivor of the 2008 North Carolina outbreak and serves as a member of the North Carolina One and Only Campaign. He recently hosted a house party to talk about injection safety.
Marilee Johnson and Zach Moore of the NC One and Only Campaign with Evelyn and Johnny
We all know it takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a community to prevent an outbreak.
Johnny Robertson is trying to do just that – bring together the community to prevent an outbreak of disease due to unsafe injections. Along with other members of his community, he contracted Hepatitis C from reuse of syringes in a medical office in 2008.
Johnny invited vital community groups to his home on a lovely Carolina Sunday to talk about the outbreak and how to prevent others. He invited nursing faculty from the local community college and local healthcare providers. He invited members of two service organizations that he has been deeply involved in and were instrumental in shaping his response to the outbreak – the American Red Cross and Rotary International. The media was there to give a report to the larger community. Johnny proudly introduced all to two groups he is involved in that work diligently to prevent further outbreaks – HONOReform and the North Carolina One and Only Campaign.
The passion in the room was electric as the participants shared stories of tragedy due to unsafe injections. Everyone had a story to share or a question to ask.
The conversation turned to solutions. What can we do to prevent this tragedy from happening again? We talked about promoting the use of safety engineered injection devices that cannot be used more than once. We talked about the need for educating providers and empowering patients to talk to their providers about safe injection practices. And we talked about putting policies in place that shore up safe injection practices. As Dr Zack Moore of the North Carolina One and Only Campaign observed, “There is no one solution, we need to use all of these options.”
Johnny likes to quote Mark Twain: “There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.”
Many thanks to our new friends in North Carolina for their passionate support of injection safety. Together, we will help spare other patients, and other communities, from the devastation that occurs when basic injection safety rules are not followed.
We will continue to provide updates on our work in North Carolina. A special thanks to Johnny and Janet Robertson for hosting our fun gathering. And to everyone, for joining us.
“I learned to live one day at a time, Barbara Burlingame writes in this poignant summary of her experience as an outbreak victim. She comments on the ongoing situation in Tulsa, and she encourages fellow patients to “please ask for help”.
Barbara Burlingame and her faithful dog Clara
The recent incident in Tulsa, in which as many as 7,000 dental patients may have been infected with bloodborne pathogens while receiving treatment from Dr. Scott Harrington, has brought a lot of thoughts and feelings back in to my life. Honestly some of these feelings have been buried deeply and it is a little painful to have them bubbling back to the surface, but it is also very therapeutic. I think daily of the people in Tulsa and the way that they have been blindsided by all of this information and these emotions. It is tough. read more »
That’s what I had in the fall of 2000. I had a loving husband, three healthy sons, a rewarding career, and a comfortable home in the Midwest. But the unsafe injections I received in my doctor’s office changed my life in a profound and permanent way.
My husband and I were shocked when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was a healthy 45 year old with no risk factors. Immediately we turned to the only oncologist in our town. Tom was well acquainted with him since he had referred to him many of his family practice patients. We were confident I would receive quality care.
We were assured that this breast cancer diagnosis was only a “little bump in the road of life” and I would resume my charmed life after six months of chemotherapy in his private clinic. read more »