Not Worth the Risk: Failing to Implement Basic Safe Injection Techniques
|Today, on CDC’s Safe Healthcare Blog, guest author Andrew Engel, MD, of the International Spine Intervention Society talks about consequences of failing to follow basic safe injection techniques during interventional spine procedures. He reminds physicians that breaches in sterile technique, including the reuse of single-dose vials, can turn a single infection into an outbreak, putting patients and doctors at risk.|
Review the One & Only Campaign’s Key Standards for Pain Clinics Poster [PDF - 1.35 MB] for more information on ways to keep patients safe.
|Join the conversation at: http://blogs.cdc.gov/|
December 5th, 2014 10:00 am ET - DHQP
Guest Author: Andrew Engel, MD
International Spine Intervention Society
The International Spine Intervention Society supports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s safe injection practices. As a strong proponent of using evidence-based medicine and safe injection practices, the International Spine Intervention Society agrees with the message espoused by CDC’s new Key Standards for Pain Clinics [PDF – 1.35 MB] poster. Unfortunately, there continue to be rare (although much too frequent) infections during interventional spine procedures that are directly linked to failures of implementing basic safe injection techniques. Fortunately, the evidence is clear that by simply following safe injection practices physicians can reduce the likelihood of their patients developing infections.
While many providers express concern that they are not adequately reimbursed for providing a new single dose vial for every patient, the emotional and economic consequences in the event of an infection or possibly an outbreak clearly make "One and Only" practice the practical choice. Breaches in sterile technique, including the reuse of single dose vials, can facilitate a single infection turning into an outbreak.
Some will reflect on their years in practice, saying that they have not adhered to one or more of the standards of care and have never seen an infection as a result. While these physicians should consider themselves lucky, sporadic transmission of blood borne pathogens may not be recognized as having resulted from unsafe injections. Given the severity of the potential complications, a single preventable infection, let alone an outbreak, is one too many. It’s not worth the risk.
For more information about patient safety and interventional spine procedures, check out the International Spine Intervention Society’s FactFinder series athttps://www.spinalinjection.org/fact-finders.php.