This weblog is part of a collection that CDC launched to focus on the significance of affected person security by offering academic data and easy methods to assist individuals keep knowledgeable on public security matters. Learn the weblog under, authored by Evelyn McKnight, to be taught extra about stopping unsafe injection practices.
Once I was recognized with breast most cancers in 2000, I by no means anticipated that going to the physician for remedy of 1 life-threatening illness would end in getting one other. Healthcare suppliers reused syringes throughout administration of my chemotherapy, which led to 99 individuals, together with me, contracting hepatitis C. I want I’d have requested my healthcare supplier questions, even when the dialog was troublesome. It might have protected so many individuals.
It is very important be an lively accomplice in your well being care. Your life, and your loved ones’s lives, might rely on it. It may be uncomfortable to ask onerous questions as a result of some healthcare suppliers could really feel you’re difficult their ability. Nevertheless, these necessary conversations help you higher perceive what comes subsequent and what to do in case your plan of care wants to vary. Healthcare suppliers need what’s finest for you. They’ll work with you to reply your questions, clarify what to anticipate, and collectively, you’ll be able to transfer ahead with a plan that’s the finest for you. Asking questions and having candid discussions together with your healthcare supplier can enhance affected person security and even stop errors that may result in an an infection, as in my case.
Matters you’ll be able to focus on together with your healthcare supplier embody:
- Protected Injection Practices: Speak about secure injection practices [PDF – 2 pages] and ask your healthcare supplier, “Will there be a brand new needle and a brand new syringe for this process or injection?” Insist that your healthcare suppliers by no means reuse a needle or syringe on a couple of affected person.
- An infection Prevention: Ask your healthcare supplier what they and the ability will do to guard you and your loved ones from getting an an infection, together with these brought on by antimicrobial-resistant germs.
- When you have a catheter, ask day by day when it may be eliminated.
- In case you are having surgical procedure, ask your supplier how they stop surgical infections. Additionally, ask how one can put together for surgical procedure to scale back your an infection threat.
- Hand Hygiene: Remind healthcare personnel and your guests to clear their palms. Preserve your palms clear with cleaning soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Ensure that everybody cleans their palms earlier than touching you.
- Latest Hospitalizations: Inform your medical doctors if in case you have been hospitalized in one other facility, have not too long ago obtained well being care exterior of the US, or have not too long ago had an an infection. This data may also help your supplier decide in case you’re in danger for sure infections and doubtlessly cease them earlier than they begin.
As an lively accomplice in my well being care, I’ve needed to ask questions that produced solutions that have been troublesome for me to listen to.
- What if I don’t have this surgical procedure or remedy?
- What’s my life expectancy?
- What’s going to the standard of my life be?
To make the perfect selections about my well being care, I wanted to ask these questions. The solutions gave me data that helped me plan for my future and created an atmosphere of teamwork between my healthcare suppliers and me.
My expertise contracting hepatitis C by unsafe healthcare practices led me to be an advocate for affected person security. My husband and I created the Evelyn and Thomas McKnight Household Fund for Affected person Security by the CDC Basis. The fund awards the McKnight Prize for Healthcare Outbreak Heroes. Its objective is to encourage and reward those that serve and defend sufferers from hurt within the context of healthcare outbreak response in the US. Nominations for the prize are accepted till February 15, 2023, and could be submitted by this hyperlink: https://www.tfaforms.com/4767549
To be taught extra about how you can be a secure affected person, go to What You Can Do to Be a Protected Affected person.
To be taught extra about stopping unsafe injection practices, go to One and Solely Marketing campaign.
Dr. Evelyn McKnight is a nationally acknowledged affected person security advocate, and survivor of one of many largest viral outbreaks in American healthcare historical past.