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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania hospital patients and others at risk

Patients in hospitals in Pennsylvania and around the nation may have cause to be concerned about their potential risk of infection. According to statements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), medical professionals have not always followed recommended procedures regarding the safe use of syringes and needles. This puts patients at risk for contamination from severe infections such as hepatitis C and HIV.

One news outlet recounted the story of a patient in a hospital who was infected with hepatitis C while undergoing chemotherapy treatment. When the CDC learned of the report, it launched an examination into the possible cause of the contamination and eventually found that medical professional negligence caused the infection to be transferred between patients.

This was not the only incident investigated by officials, who stated that lax procedures may have been more prevalent in American hospitals than previously thought. An ISMP survey noted that a handful of hospitals surveyed did not constantly enforce procedures aimed at preventing medical professionals from using the same syringe on multiple patients, and nearly one quarter of the hospitals evaluated did not have rules in place forcing doctors and nurses to utilize single-dose vials instead of multiple-dose vials for certain medications. Because of the contamination danger that some multiple-dose medical supplies pose, some medical professionals declared that hospitals should not use multiple-dose materials or use a multi-use supply (such as an injection pen) on the same patient every time.

However, patients around the nation may have already been infected with potentially life-threatening illnesses due to medical negligence. Hospital patients who have been harmed due to medical professional negligence may have the right to pursue medical malpractice lawsuits to possibly receive compensation for their physical and emotional suffering.

Source: Gastroenterology & Endoscopy News, "Unsafe Injection Practices Remain All Too Common", David Wild, August 20, 2013

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