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Friday, December 24, 2010

I was one of 99: Hepatitis from injections

Evelyn McKnight's story:
In over 45 known outbreaks during the last twelve years, patients have been the victims of syringe re-use. I was one of 99 Nebraskans infected with hepatitis C in 2001 while receiving treatment for cancer. Syringes were reused, and a saline bag was misused. And ours is not an isolated incident. Over 150,000 Americans have been notified during the last decade that they have been put at risk for infection while receiving medical treatment. Infection control by ambulatory surgery centers is described by Dr. Melissa Schaefer and her colleagues in an article this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Our research led me to discover inadequate level of protection for patients caused by widespread failure of health care providers to follow fundamental, basic injection safety practices. Astonishingly, these unsafe practices continue.

We started the HONOReform Foundation in 2007. Our vision is a nation in which health care providers always follow fundamental injection safety practices that are designed to protect all patients each and every time they receive an injection.

We are pleased to announce that HONOReform Foundation, along with the Southern Nevada Health District, launched our Compassionate Response Toolkit on December 1, 2010, in Las Vegas. Providers throughout the area will be able to give this helpful resource, written from the patient perspective from our year-long research, to anyone diagnosed with viral hepatitis. It is just a start for our toolkit. It will be available online to all patients…and will be offered to public health departments and other organizations.

I invite you to join us in our efforts—testifying and working with federal and state lawmakers on legislation to protect patients, helping public health officials prevent and respond to outbreaks, and providing inspirational and motivational compassion and support to people across the country who have been affected by unsafe injection practices.

Please visit our web site, HONOReform.org, and please contact me anytime, evelyn@HONOReform.org.

Read a daredevil’s hepatitis story.

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