Safe Needles

Safe Needles

The problem is seeing into the future. You never know in advance what infectious disease a patient may have. Chronic hepatitis C, hepatitis B, or HIV.

When I was a medical student, back in the more cavalier days, the head of Dermatology wanted us to use all our senses when evaluating a rash. Well, almost all. Taste was out. Bad idea. Is that a drug rash? After a half dozen house staff poked and prodded the rash it was discovered, nope, secondary syphilis.  And half dozen residents decided they needed a shot of penicillin.

And I am amazed at all the fluke occurrences that can led to an accidental blood and body exposure.

So in the hospital we wash our hands and wear gloves for just about everything, and almost always when putting needles into people.

There are several reasons to wear gloves. One is to protect the patient from whatever germ you might carry. Another is to protect you from whatever germ the patient might have. The third reason is to help break the chain of contagion.

One of the rare times gloves are not required is for vaccination; the quick in and out jab should generate no contagious body fluids, although you are supposed to wear gloves if such fluids are expected.  As I mentioned, part of the problem is being unable to see into the future.

I usually wear gloves when I vaccinate since occasionally I do generate a drop of blood. And I still think Murphy was an optimist. Despite the new needle technologies to minimize risk, I figure that I am such a klutz I will somehow manage to stick my self with a needle and if I do I want it going though a glove where it may remove some of the infectious material

Acupuncturists also never use needles, because they are under the delusion that acupuncture is the same as giving a vaccine. Nope.

Watch any random video of acupuncture. Can you any resemblance to a vaccination? I can't.

Vaccination: one needle.

Acupuncture: Multiple needles.

Vaccination: removed immediately.

Acupuncture: left in for long periods.

Vaccination: in and out.

Acupuncture: often manipulated up and down and twirled by the bare fingers of the acupuncturist.

Vaccination: skin of patient and practitioner cleaned.

Acupuncture: the skin of the patient is rarely cleaned and often the hands of the acupuncturists wander the skin of the patient looking for a place to stick the needle. Perhaps appropriate hand hygiene is being practiced; they do bother to film that part. 

There is one article on hand hygiene compliance for acupuncture (vrs 1165 for the real practice of medicine) that notes

The current situation is that acupuncturists have understanding insufficiency in hospital infection management, lack the sterile concepts and consciousness of disinfection and isolation. Aseptic technic principles aren't strictly followed; disinfection and isolation systems are unsound; sanitary condition of hand of medical staff is unsatisfied;

It is no wonder that there are all sorts of infections complicating acupuncture, from TB to endocarditis to hepatitis B. And I suspect there will be no future decrease in the incidence of acupuncture related infections. Why would there? Since not only do thy deny there is a problem, their training and understanding of disease is divorced from germ theory theory

The One & Only Campaign

is a public health campaign, led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Safe Injection Practices Coalition (SIPC), to raise awareness among patients and healthcare providers about safe injection practices. The Campaign aims to eliminate infections resulting from unsafe injection practices.

I don't see acupuncturists participating any time soon.

"Chronic" Lyme disease bill becomes law in Maine
Points of Interest 06/29/2015

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