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Nurse Allegedly Used Same Needle on Patients for Two Months

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posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 09:38 PM
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www.foxnews.com...


More than 50 cancer patients will have to wait an agonizing three months to find out whether they have been infected with HIV, after a New South Wales clinic used one needle on patients for two months.

The bungle occurred when a newly employed nurse mistakenly believed the Accu-Chek Multiclix, a device used to check blood sugar levels, automatically changed needles.


There was no booklet on how to use this? No training? My mother has been a nurse and everytime they get anything new they go through all of the directions/instructions with a fine tooth comb. It isn't like we forgot to put the tomato on your burger at Hardees. Dealing with lives one can't assume anything.


Dr. Michael Jones, chairman of the private radiology company PRP Diagnostic Imaging which runs the Gosford clinic, said the nurse didn't realize she had to change the needle manually for each new patient.

Instead, the needle was left unchanged between November 28 and January 28, and used on 53 patients and two staff members.

The patients had visited the clinic to undertake a positron emission tomography (PET) scan for cancer detection, which requires them to have their blood sugar levels tested.

The error was discovered when a staff member with diabetes asked the nurse to perform the test on her and discovered the incorrect usage, Dr. Jones said.


So other staff members were obviously aware enough of this instrument to know by sight that she was not using it correctly. The twist that most were cancer patients with an already weakened immune system is really sad. I am not sure if there is an instrument to check blood sugar levels that can hold that many new needles or not. That is a lot of needles.


'The moment we found out, we withdrew it from service.'

He said the clinic had now switched to single-use devices where such an error couldn't happen.

Patients were this week sent letters of apology instructing them to undergo blood testing for HIV and hepatitis B and C.

Dr. Jones said advice sought from an infectious disease specialist indicated the risk of infection was 'low or very low'.

He said the clinic was 'extremely disappointed' by the incident and the nurse involved was 'shattered'.

The nurse, staff and cancer patients involved would be offered support and counseling, he said.

'We're deeply apologetic that this episode in their journey is just another problem for them to cope with,' he said.

The bungle was the result of 'misunderstanding at multiple levels' about the machine's use.

A mother of three diagnosed with esophageal cancer in April was among the patients tested with the needle to see whether her tumor had shrunk.

'When I opened the letter I felt like I wanted to fall on the floor, I was sick,' the 54-year-old told News Ltd.

'These are some of the sickest, most vulnerable patients, whose immune system is already compromised, and we have to be tested for HIV and hepatitis - and then wait for three months to do another test?'


Wow. This is a huge whoops. I am sure the nurse is shattered. Along with the other 53 patients. People are fallable. But in this type of industry more care should have been taken IMO.

A lesson for all of us as well. Always be aware of what is being done at your Dr.'s office. If in doubt, ask. Better safe than sorry.



edit on 2/9/2011 by Kangaruex4Ewe because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 09:43 PM
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reply to post by Kangaruex4Ewe
 


Oh wow. I have very little medical training, yet I know that the needles have to be changed in these things each time, even for just PERSONAL use! Just wow.

Some people just never fail to make me wanna bang my head against a wall. I don't like putting people down, but shouldn't nurses be required to have a little common sense???



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 09:50 PM
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reply to post by gemineye
 


When dealing with people's lives there should definately be more common sense or more training or both. The cost of a simple mistake is too high. They do happen since people are not perfect but this just seems a little over the top to me.

People should also be more proactive in their healthcare as well. We assume they know best, we shouldn't always assume. Whether it is dirty needles, medications, or diagnoses'.... ask lots of questions!



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 09:56 PM
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reply to post by Kangaruex4Ewe
 


I can't understand where she thought the used needles were going and where the new ones were coming from. Those things aren't very big!

I hope all those people are ok! I can't imagine how difficult it must be to go through cancer treatment, only to have THIS to worry about.



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 09:57 PM
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I am a nurse and I must say I think the nurse using the machine is also at blame. I have always ask a lot of questions when it came to learning about a new machine. I am sure I would have ask about the needles, are they stored,, do you replace each time, etc. Its best a machine such as this not be used at all - I could see where this might happen again. I feel for the patients awaiting test results.



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 09:59 PM
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reply to post by gemineye
 


I agree, she used the machine a lot and never once to ask about the needles - the most significant part of the machine - she wasn't thinking as she should.



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 10:08 PM
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How on earth did she pass her clinical nursing courses?

I hope that none of those people were made even sicker by her lack of common sense.



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 10:08 PM
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reply to post by gemineye
 


I hope so too.


I wondered about the machine as well. The only ones I have ever seen would not be able to hold that many needles. She thought it was magic? It doesn't make a lot of sense from the outside looking in. And would it not be dull? I mean after 53 sticks? Most of the blood sugar tests are drawn from a finger tip. I have had to have mine stuck more than once for one test. So it may have been used more. By the 53 it was probably getting pretty dull.



posted on Feb, 9 2011 @ 10:14 PM
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reply to post by Kangaruex4Ewe
 


It would be extremely dull from that many uses.

I am sure it was pretty painful by the fiftieth time.



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