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Thread: Insulin injection errors may have exposed veterans to viruses

  1. #11
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    Re: Insulin injection errors may have exposed veterans to viruses

    Quote Originally Posted by digsbe View Post
    There isn't going to be a risk of blood backwash or contamination with other body fluids if insulin is drawn up from a sterile vial using a sterile needle that is supposed to be disposed of after 1 use. The older syringes are not too difficult to read. Regardless, even if they are difficult that doesn't justify using an easier pen needle dosing system in multiple people. It's completely unethical to try and take an easy way out and put patients at risk because drawing up an insulin amount may be difficult.

    .
    I wasn't defending the multiple use. Quite the opposite.

    Maybe I didn't explain myself well regarding the pen delivery system.

    The needle is a cap, which puntures a membrane in the cartridge of insulin (which contains more than one dose), and delivers the insulin directly from the cartridge subcuteously. You then pull it out of the skin, and remove the needle. the plunger that measures the dose is at the other end of the cartridge, and works on a pressure/suction basis.

    Even if you dispose of the pen needle, the way the cartridge works could very easily suck in contamination. There are warnings about contamination in with the cartridges. It should NEVER be used for more than one person.

    One would have thought, even without training, those in the healthcare field would have figured that out.
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  2. #12
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    Re: Insulin injection errors may have exposed veterans to viruses

    Quote Originally Posted by GottaGo View Post
    I wasn't defending the multiple use. Quite the opposite.

    Maybe I didn't explain myself well regarding the pen delivery system.

    The needle is a cap, which puntures a membrane in the cartridge of insulin (which contains more than one dose), and delivers the insulin directly from the cartridge subcuteously. You then pull it out of the skin, and remove the needle. the plunger that measures the dose is at the other end of the cartridge, and works on a pressure/suction basis.

    Even if you dispose of the pen needle, the way the cartridge works could very easily suck in contamination. There are warnings about contamination in with the cartridges. It should NEVER be used for more than one person.

    One would have thought, even without training, those in the healthcare field would have figured that out.
    I apologize, I head read your post wrong.

    I have experience with the pen needles too (they are commonly dispensed). I would also imagine that people in healthcare would recognize that they are for individual use and not for multiple people. It's common sense with pretty much any medication that is injected.
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    Re: Insulin injection errors may have exposed veterans to viruses

    Quote Originally Posted by GottaGo View Post
    I have experience with the pen delivery system, and it beats the old syringe delivery system by miles.
    I don't like the pen, the needle is too short and the insulin burns while being injected. I very quickly went back to vial and syringe. If it doesn't burn for you, then I can see how the pen would be preferable.

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    Re: Insulin injection errors may have exposed veterans to viruses

    Another sad part of it all is that Vietnam Vets who were exposed to Agent Orange have been determined to exhibit a higher level of Diabetes 2. If you were exposed to Agent Orange - and that is determined by knowing where you were in-country (and exposure happened in all IV Corps) you are automatically eligible for VA related medical care.

    Of course people who have been, are or will be in the **** in Middle East already have their own lingering physical issues, and will, due to the toxic mix of the war zone. It was only last year, I think, that ME War Vets got the VA to recognize Gulf War Syndrome and agree to provide medical services. There's even more ME War Vets are fighting to have the VA recognize.

    So far I've been fortunate. The VA has been generally good to me. I will say that I prefer the VA Hearing Clinic in Tucson to the one at Carl Hayden in Phoenix. I'm moving my service to Tucson as soon as I hear back from them regarding an appointment.

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    Re: Insulin injection errors may have exposed veterans to viruses

    Quote Originally Posted by DVSentinel View Post
    What kind of care did you get there? The OKC facility has some good doctors, some bad. Same in Shreveport, La. But even the good doctors are hampered by the system.

    Only med approved for your condition? Too bad, have to go through trials of other meds first before you get that one.

    Got a torn knee? Yes, even with an x-ray showing a torn meniscus (from another facility), have to go through physical therapy first, before you can see orthopedics. Don't already have the x-ray/MRI, have to go through physical therapy first.

    Suffer from Sinusitis or other nasal problems? First, get the doctor to actually listen that you have a problem. Next, 3 months on nasal flush (available at Walmart, not free from the pharmacy), anti-histamines, and nasal spray. Didn't work? Next, 3 more months with nasal spray, anti-histamines, nasal flush and they add an anti-biotic. Still didn't work, ok, now they can do a cat scan of your sinuses and if it shows reason to, then you can be referred to ENT.

    On the plus side, if they suspect arthritis, you can get an x-ray in a month or two.

    It has taken me 5 years to actually get a doctor that both understands English well enough to communicate with and will listen. Most just run their checklist of certain items, tell you to quit smoking and never listen beyond that. Why the Shreveport facility actually hired a psychiatrist that doesn't even communicate well in English is beyond me. You would think that that is one field where the ability to communicate would be required. The Indian, Pakistani and Iraqi doctors weren't bad (ok, 1 was, not the rest), they were just hampered by their ability to communicate.

    For Basic health needs and a few military specialty requirements, the VAs I have dealt with are pretty decent. But need care beyond the normal, and they really don't hold up.

    Gee, and some people want the government to run everyones healthcare. I Just don't get it, apparently they have never dealt with government run systems before.
    I had a serious problem with kidney stones for a spell. I had my first bout at 21 but then not again until my mid to late 30's. I passed all of them but one. I had to have surgery to blast it into smaller pieces so that it would pass. That surgery was done by the VA. The unfortunate side of the experience was that the VA had only one stone shattering machine for a region and it travelled so I had to wait a month before the machine was back in Phoenix.

    Sooooo.... they had to surgically put a stint inside me for that monthlong wait. I was nervous as hell but I don't remember a damn thing and the surgery went off without a hitch but it effected me psychologically. I kind of turned into an agoraphobe and really REALLY didn't want to ever leave the house and if I did I was kind of a wreck.

    Then they had a surgery that they knocked me out and laid me on an operating table that had a hole in the middle and that hole had a rubber bladder in it full of water. They put your effected kidney in the water and shoot the sonic blast through the water aimed at the stone and turn it to a frequency that shatters the stone... voila. It's done. They knock you out because you can't move a single iota while this is happening. That surgery was great and went off without a hitch.

    The final thing was they had to remove the stint which is a local anesthetic and you are awake. That went off without a hitch.

    Sorry for the details if it is too much.

    All of my doctor visits for this and just check ups I really liked. They have different doctor sections and they assign you to one then within that section you get a doctor that is your regular doctor. They check you out and if you need anything at all like drugs or x-rays or what-have-you, you just stroll down the hall and it's there. Drugs are EXTREMELY cheap by comparison.

    I don't know. Other than my stone epsiodes I really don't use doctors and hospitals or whatever much at all but my experiences have been really good. From what I understand, having McCain as a Senator in the state had some help in establishing the Carl T Hayden center as a good one. I've not experience with other VA's TBH.
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    Re: Insulin injection errors may have exposed veterans to viruses

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrabaholic View Post
    I don't like the pen, the needle is too short and the insulin burns while being injected. I very quickly went back to vial and syringe. If it doesn't burn for you, then I can see how the pen would be preferable.
    Just a heads up, you can purchase the pen needles in different lengths and diameters that may suit you better. (Not sure if you were aware of that).

  7. #17
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    Re: Insulin injection errors may have exposed veterans to viruses

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrabaholic View Post
    I don't like the pen, the needle is too short and the insulin burns while being injected. I very quickly went back to vial and syringe. If it doesn't burn for you, then I can see how the pen would be preferable.

    I didn't get much burn. I kept my current pen at room teperature, which I'm told will help with that. There are longer pen needles available if you need them.

    I now use a pump. Expensive, but it has done wonders for my A1c.
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    Re: Insulin injection errors may have exposed veterans to viruses

    Quote Originally Posted by Manc Skipper View Post
    In the nurses' defence, the article suggests the new technology (pens) were introduced without training in how to use them properly.
    That's what I was thinking. It's a case of murphy's law, not related to poor veteran care, in a malicious way.

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    Re: Insulin injection errors may have exposed veterans to viruses

    Quote Originally Posted by GottaGo View Post
    I didn't get much burn. I kept my current pen at room teperature, which I'm told will help with that. There are longer pen needles available if you need them.

    I now use a pump. Expensive, but it has done wonders for my A1c.
    Got a link for that?

  10. #20
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    Re: Insulin injection errors may have exposed veterans to viruses

    I bet if it happened in a civilian hospital, you would have never heard about it. The VA has a system in place for catching and reporting errors. The civilian sector practices much more efficient damage control. And there is no excuse for a nurse to perform a procedure they were not trained on. On one hand, very dissapointing a VA employee did it, but a positive that it was caught and reported in the long run.
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