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Thread: Insulin injection errors may have exposed veterans to viruses

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    Insulin injection errors may have exposed veterans to viruses

    “Mr. Speaker, I once again find myself compelled to vote against the annual budget resolution for a very simple reason: it makes government bigger.” ― Ron Paul
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    Re: Insulin injection errors may have exposed veterans to viruses

    Quote Originally Posted by MarineTpartier View Post
    That is horrendous. However, I will say that while that was the Buffalo, NY Va. The service I got at the Carl T Hayden VA in Phoenix was absolutely exemplary.
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    Re: Insulin injection errors may have exposed veterans to viruses

    The pen needles are designed to be for one patient. The needle device is clean every time, but it's risky to keep using the pen device in multiple people.

    They really have no excuse, insulin comes in several dosage forms and there is certainly insulin that can be drawn up in a sterile vial to be given to each patient when they need it. The pharmacists, physicians, and nurses that allowed this should all be held accountable.
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    Re: Insulin injection errors may have exposed veterans to viruses

    In the nurses' defence, the article suggests the new technology (pens) were introduced without training in how to use them properly.
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    Re: Insulin injection errors may have exposed veterans to viruses

    Quote Originally Posted by poweRob View Post
    That is horrendous. However, I will say that while that was the Buffalo, NY Va. The service I got at the Carl T Hayden VA in Phoenix was absolutely exemplary.
    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.
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    Re: Insulin injection errors may have exposed veterans to viruses

    My uncle got great care from an Ann Arbor VA hospital for about 15 years. Then all of a sudden quality dropped. He was over-prescribed blood thinners, then recommended for surgery which nearly killed him. He was prescribed medication for arthritis that reacted badly with a medication he was already taking for a degenerative spine condition, nearly killed him. He nearly went septic after a "routine" procedure introduced a pretty serious staph infection into his system. Etc., etc., etc.

    Personally, I think our vets should be getting the absolute best healthcare out there EVERY single time they visit a doctor. I don't know many vets who do, though.
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    Re: Insulin injection errors may have exposed veterans to viruses

    Quote Originally Posted by digsbe View Post
    The pen needles are designed to be for one patient. The needle device is clean every time, but it's risky to keep using the pen device in multiple people.

    They really have no excuse, insulin comes in several dosage forms and there is certainly insulin that can be drawn up in a sterile vial to be given to each patient when they need it. The pharmacists, physicians, and nurses that allowed this should all be held accountable.
    I have experience with the pen delivery system, and it beats the old syringe delivery system by miles.

    The ability to read the old syringes requires a magnifying glass, 20/20 vision and a micrometer. :wink The pen system has more flexibility in dosages (half units) and a hell of a lot easier to set the dose than a syringe does.

    There is always the tiniest chance of backwash of insulin in any needle related delivery device, no matter if you change the needle or not, since the function on pressure and suction. The pen needles are disposable, but puncture a membrane to draw the insulin through to the needle.

    I really hope for these Veteran's sakes that nothing was passed along.
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    Re: Insulin injection errors may have exposed veterans to viruses

    I live in an overlap area. Generally one is mostly praised and the other is mostly criticized, but there are enough people who are critical of the overall better one and others that prefer the one that gets the more criticism to make me say it largely becomes subjective.

    As for the reuse of the pen, hopefully nobody gets ill. It seems like it is more a theoretically possible danger than a confirmed one at this point.

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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.

    The ability to read the old syringes requires a magnifying glass, 20/20 vision and a micrometer. :wink The pen system has more flexibility in dosages (half units) and a hell of a lot easier to set the dose than a syringe does.

    There is always the tiniest chance of backwash of insulin in any needle related delivery device, no matter if you change the needle or not, since the function on pressure and suction. The pen needles are disposable, but puncture a membrane to draw the insulin through to the needle.

    I really hope for these Veteran's sakes that nothing was passed along.
    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.


    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.
    To tell you the truth that's a piss poor defense. If a healthcare professional doesn't know how to do something or is not trained on something they need to defer that to someone else or become trained on how to use a new medication or doing a new procedure. If a physician doesn't know how to properly treat a disease they are supposed to send their patient to a specialist that does. If a surgeon doesn't know a procedure they are supposed to allow another surgeon to do it. If a pharmacist doesn't know much about a certain drug it's their duty to educate themselves before dispensing it and doing the clinical review to see if it is safe to be given to their patients. If a nurse doesn't know how to administer a drug or hasn't been trained on a certain medication they need to seek training. Not being trained on how to use a pen needle or knowing that they are not to be used in multiple patients is not a valid defense for the nurses that allowed this to happen.
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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.




    To tell you the truth that's a piss poor defense. If a healthcare professional doesn't know how to do something or is not trained on something they need to defer that to someone else or become trained on how to use a new medication or doing a new procedure. If a physician doesn't know how to properly treat a disease they are supposed to send their patient to a specialist that does. If a surgeon doesn't know a procedure they are supposed to allow another surgeon to do it. If a pharmacist doesn't know much about a certain drug it's their duty to educate themselves before dispensing it and doing the clinical review to see if it is safe to be given to their patients. If a nurse doesn't know how to administer a drug or hasn't been trained on a certain medication they need to seek training. Not being trained on how to use a pen needle or knowing that they are not to be used in multiple patients is not a valid defense for the nurses that allowed this to happen.
    I'm not saying it's a good defence, there were many failures at many levels. The pharmacists just issued them without checking that the nurses knew how they worked. It's really a simple management health and safety issue flub. You can't introduce new equipment to the workplace without training the staff how to use it.
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