CDC-health care workers expose 60,000 patients to Hepatitis

JusticeNewsFlash.com–The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) www.cdc.gov posted an immediate release on January 6, 2009, regarding health care worker infection control failures over the past decade. Health care personnel, working outside of hospital settings, have failed to follow basic infection control practices, causing 60,000 patients to be tested for Hepatitis B (HBV) and Hepatitis C (HBC) infection. The CDC has been investigating health-care associated viral hepatitis outbreaks, over the past 10 years, and released their findings in the January 6th issue of the journal, Annals of Internal Medicine http://www.annals.org/

Because health care professionals continually refuse or simply neglect to follow basic infection control practices, patients have been and still are exposed to serious and fatal infections, like hepatitis. The CDC revealed 450 people were identified as acquiring HBV or HCV infection because health care workers didn’t follow federally mandated infection control guidelines. Infection control practices are strictly mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) www.osha.gov. Patients are continually exposed to serious and deadly diseases because health care workers fail to follow these OSHAs basic infection control procedures. The CDC’s report further identified the most common violations by health care professionals:

-Failure to wash hands
-Reuse of syringes
-Blood contamination of medication
-Blood contamination of equipment and devices

More and more patients in the United States receive their medical care outside of hospital settings. Doctors offices, clinics and outpatient surgery centers seem to be the most common places consumers are receiving medical care and treatment. JusticeNewsFlash.com (JNF) reported on the devastating outbreak of Hepatitis B and C infections, caused by the gross negligence of doctors and nurses in Nevada, in December 2008. The failure of health care workers, at the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada, to follow basic infection control practices caused transmission of Hepatitis to many patients. The Nevada outbreak is considered by medical experts to be one of the worst in U.S. history. Health care professionals have a medical and legal responsibility to follow federal and state health care standards and guidelines.

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About the Author Justice Seeker

Heather L. Ryan, R.N., C.L.N.C- Heather Ryan is a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant with 15 years of experience in the health care industry. Her expertise in reviewing medical records and assisting lawyers with the determination as to whether legal action should be taken provides an invaluable asset to the newsroom. Medical-malpractice, products liability, personal injury and workers’ compensation are some of the recent areas of litigation Ms. Ryan has focused her efforts on. A member of the Florida Justice Association, Heather maintains a long list of certifications and credentials to support her areas of expertise and stays up-to-date with her clinical knowledge working as an emergency room/trauma nurse, at a Level 1, Adult/Pediatric trauma and teaching institution in South Florida.