Tens of thousands of Americans every year are injected with unsterilized needles, resulting in numerous disease outbreaks, expensive treatment, and even deaths.
Dirty needles are supposed to be a threat to heroin addicts sharing needles in back alleys and abandoned buildings, not patients in pain clinics and hospitals. However, tens of thousands of Americans every year are injected with unsterilized needles, resulting in numerous disease outbreaks, expensive treatment, and even deaths.
According to statistics released by the CDC and compiled by USA Today, at least 150,000 Americans have received improper injections in this country’s hospitals and clinics since 2001. These injections have been responsible for at least 49 disease outbreaks and uncounted deaths. According to USA, the CDC’s total is likely much too low, representing a small fraction of the actual. That seems likely, since some studies suggest that as much as 5% of clinicians don’t follow accepted safety guidelines.
The places patients are most likely to get injections with dirty needles include:
- Outpatient facilities
- Long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes
Often these places operate in a regulatory grey area, with little or no active oversight by state or federal authorities.
Of course, the use of dirty needles is a form of medical malpractice, but responsibility often extends beyond the individual who performed the injections. People who hire or supervise the responsible individual are often guilty of putting patients in danger by not practicing due diligence or deliberately concealing evidence.
If you have contracted a blood-borne disease and suspect it may be due to injection with an unsterilized needle, we can help. The medical malpractice lawyers at WIllens Law Offices in Chicago have experience helping many people get compensation for medical errors.