The results of the survey were eye-opening, and confirmed the AANA's suspicions that the problem is more widespread than believed.
Among the different categories of health professionals surveyed, 3 percent of anesthesiologists who responded indicated they reuse needles and/or syringes on multiple patients. CRNAs, other physicians, nurses and oral surgeons reported reuse at 1 percent or less. Extrapolating from the survey's findings, 3 percent of anesthesiologists plus 1 percent of CRNAs equated in 2002 to approximately 1,000 anesthesia professionals who might have been exposing more than a million patients to risks of contaminated needles and syringes.
The AANA distributed this information widely among public and professional communities, including to the Centers for Disease Control. Despite these alarming results, the AANA was unable to generate interest in a summit meeting of healthcare organizations to address the issue. "Perhaps if the issue had been given more attention at the time, we wouldn't be revisiting it again today," Wilson said.
"The most important action we at the AANA feel we can take from this point forward," Wilson added, "is to do absolutely everything in our power to study and correct the infection control issue related to drug handling and administration, and make whatever changes are necessary to ensure the safety of future anesthesia patients."
About the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA)
Founded in 1931 and located in Park Ridge, Ill., the AANA is the
professional organization for more than 90 percent of the nation's CRNAs.
As advanced practice nurses, CRNAs administer approximately 27 million
anesthetics in the United States each year. CRNAs practice in every setting
where anesthesia is available and are the sole anesthesia providers in m
|SOURCE American Association of Nurse Anesthetists|
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