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AANA Condemns Unsafe Injection Practices
Date:3/6/2008

oot cause and correct the problem," Wilson said. "We invite other national healthcare organizations, as well as governmental entities and drug manufacturers, to work with us to restore public trust and achieve this goal of ensuring and enhancing patient safety when it comes to the use of needles, syringes, and single-use medication vials. Only by working together will we be able to develop and implement universally accepted techniques and guidelines, and share in the responsibility of their use and enforcement without hesitation."

On February 29, health officials in Nevada closed the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas after six patients were diagnosed with hepatitis C. The outbreak was traced back to nurse anesthetists reusing syringes to draw up medicine from single-use vials for multiple patients. According to the investigation report of the Southern Nevada Health District, "common practices" were identified that "would allow disease to be transmitted in this manner." Officials are notifying more than 40,000 patients that they should be tested for hepatitis and HIV. (View the investigation report at http://health.nv.gov/.)

In November 2007, reports surfaced in the media that anesthesiologist Harvey Finkelstein, MD, a Long Island pain management specialist, was under investigation by the New York State Department of Health for reusing syringes to draw up medicine from multi-dose vials and exposing thousands of patients to blood borne pathogen infection. On December 14, 2007, the Department of Health contacted approximately 8,500 patients who had been treated by Finkelstein prior to January 15, 2005, urging them to be tested for hepatitis and HIV if they had received an injection from the doctor. (View the investigation report at http://www.health.state.ny.us.) Finkelstein's record in the nine years prior to the reuse investigat
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SOURCE American Association of Nurse Anesthetists
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