Prior to my 2009 Hep C infection I paid little, if any, attention to issues of safe injection practices, drug diversion or outbreaks. In my ordinary life, I had no concern for such things. In fact, I am not even sure I could adequately define any of those terms prior to the chaos of 2009 and the outbreak in Colorado.
But since, I have kept myself in the know, paying attention to trends, outbreaks and legislation to protect patients. My email inbox and social media accounts are littered with stories, mostly bad, about errors in patient care. I truly hope that some of the initiatives I have become a part of will put a stop to most of these incidents. However, in preparing for every situation in an attempt to prevent these events you will find a tale so far fetched you want to read the facts 2 or 3 times just to insure what you initially thought you heard was correct. Read more
Hepatitis C and preventive measures by Dr Mudasir Firdosi
We would like to thank Dr. Mudasir Firdosi for helping to highlight Hepatitis C as a truly global issue. This is re-printed from a post which appeared in mid-May.
Kashmir valley is witnessing another disaster in the form of Hepatitis C epidemic. In some villages in Kokernag area, the number of cases is around 40% of the total population. In spite of media pressure, and demand from local population, authorities are still contemplating curbing the further spread of this infection. Similar scenario exists in other districts of the valley like Shopian, Kupwara, and Srinagar.
Hepatitis C is not transmitted by routine personal contact and there needs to be an actual transfer of the virus via blood, blood products and body fluids, from one person to another. From the sociodemographic profile of the rural population, one can easily exclude intravenous drug abuse or sexual contact as the cause of the current epidemic in majority of cases.
On March 3rd, the India Times reported an incident where 59 children were injected with the same syringe and needle while being administered an antibiotic. This not only highlights the many issues surrounding the state-run hospitals there, but also illustrates the point we, at HONOReform, have been helping to bring to light.
Welcome back to the HONOReform blog, aka “Survivor Stories,” for our second full year of publication. We thank everyone who has had a role in making our blog a growing success—contributors and readers and everyone who has suggested to friends that they should check out our blog and pass it on to others.
And we encourage you to please continue to support our efforts.
Here at HONOReform, community-building is a key to emphasizing safe injection practices and doing all we can to educate the public and reeducate providers on the absolute necessity of injection safety.
We are just two of many citizens and patient advocates who remain concerned about the safety of our nation’s many outpatient clinics—and ambulatory surgery facilities, in particular. Perhaps, it is because trips to these type of healthcare settings resulted in the Hepatitis C virus for both of us.
Since the founding of HONOReform in 2007, there has been a migration of care from the hospital to the outpatient setting. Very few of us do not know someone who described their surgery or procedure, which appeared quite complicated, yet they were released the same day.
We are so grateful to share this news—so proud of our colleagues at the CDC and the CDC Foundation and our many partners on the Safe Injection Practices Coalition for the extraordinary work over the last six years, which has led to this important announcement: welcome to representatives of Eli Lilly, and many thanks for providing funds, for the next three years, to continue (and to expand) our vital and ongoing work!
On behalf of HONOReform advocates—and with the many Americans who have been affected by unsafe injection practices in mind—we thank our new partner for their generous support of the mission and goals of the SIPC.
We include the announcement, below. We encourage you to share this good news with your network. Evelyn and Lauren
CDC Expands Injection Safety Efforts
More than 150,000 patients have been notified of potential exposure to hepatitis and HIV due to unsafe injection practices in U.S. healthcare settings since 2001. Read more
Evelyn and Tom McKnight had the privilege of presenting to the Central Illinois Chapter of the Association of Professionals in Infection Control last week. Here four infection preventionists discuss the new infographic that gives guidance on the single dose/multidose vial issue. See the infographic at http://oneandonlycampaign.org/single-dose-multi-dose-vial-infographic
The many “Love Stories” that have been altered by unsafe injection practices
On behalf of my wife Evelyn and everyone who helps sustain the efforts of HONOReform, thank you very much for your support. In the letter I sent in November, I ask the wonderful people we have met and worked alongside through the years to provide a donation to HONOReform. This request is getting a good response. I thank you all.
And, naturally, I encourage everyone to please think of HONOReform here at the end of the year…and throughout 2014 and beyond. We depend on your kindness and generosity. Every donation is meaningful. You are helping us continue to help safeguard the medical injection process in the United States. If you haven’t already, will you please consider a gift to HONOReform?
In a blog post scheduled for early next year, our executive director, Steve Langan, will share some of our highlights of 2013—and some of our goals for 2014. We encourage you to join us!
In my appeal letter we mailed in November, I shared part of my story, our story—what can happen when a loved one is affected by unsafe injection practices. Even one unsafe injection can devastate a person and his or her family. Every part of the injection safety process “from manufacting through disposal” (as Evelyn says) must be done correctly.
I talk about the many “love stories” that have been altered by unsafe injection practices. I have been there. Many others have been there, too. Let’s continue to work to prevent outbreaks and infections caused by unsafe injection practices.
I would like to switch gears for a minute, and talk to you about injection safety from the point of view of health care providers. As many of you know, I have been a family physician for many years. It is not a stretch to say, at this point in my career, “I’ve seen it all.”
I call on my colleagues—not just physicians but nurses and every member of the staff in a clinic or hospital—to always provide a safe injection, each and every time. This continues to be my goal. A call to action to everyone who gives an injection…to make sure it’s being done correctly.
That said, it is now more important than ever that we communicate. There is so much technology in play in hospitals and clinics—from electronic medical records to apps of all kinds—that I think we providers sometimes forget to take some time to talk with one another.
My wish for 2014 is that we emphasize communication here in Fremont at our clinic. And that we are never shy or hesitant about addressing a situation in which any aspect of health care is questionable. As they say in the airports, If you see something, say something. This especially applies to any potential violation of the injection safety. Lives depend on it.
I extend this important call to action to my fellow providers, here in Nebraska and throughout the country.
Lauren Lollini spoke at the NAADDI Health Facility Diversion Conference in Cincinnati, OH on October 28th.
Once I was found to have Hepatitis C, while the walls appeared to be crumbling around me, I saw a light and chose to walk toward it. That light was the opportunity to share my story and reach out to others in an effort to make a difference. I did nothing more than relate the facts, share my emotion and help others understand the possibility of change.
My work with HONOReform became a very easy collaboration. Working with others who were as passionate as I to reach out and educate and explore the solutions to stopping outbreaks. HONOReform had made great strides forward in safeguarding the medical injection process.