Transmissions in Our Doctors' Offices
I wanted to write about some disturbing news I came across and I started to do some more research about it over the last couple of weeks. There are places that are not cleaning their medical equipment properly and exposing people to HIV. This should not still be happening after 40 years, and it is quite disturbing.
Risk of transmission
The most recent incident happened in Dublin, GA at the VA hospital where it states that 4,000 people should get tested as soon as possible for HIV, Hep C, and Hep B because of reusable equipment not being cleaned. Can we all take a moment to ask ourselves why they are not using protocols put in place to prevent this?
They even stated that the risk of transmission was low and that they were not requiring testing but were offering it for free for two weeks. It is sad when they do not take accountability for this to be a serious matter. We all know that HIV is not a walk in the park for many of us and for this VA to be careless shows how they do not care.
What about an old case in 2013 where a dentist’s office in Oklahoma exposed 7,000 patients to HIV and hepatitis due to the dentist reusing needles? It was shocking to discover and then find out that sixty of the patients found out they tested positive for hepatitis or HIV.
Medical equipment protocols
I know that it is good for me to use my own words when writing but this was a very important issue to address. How didn’t anyone know what these medical professionals were in their practices? Being that in the ’80s the epidemic was a worldwide scare for everyone.
People were contracting HIV from blood transfusions from receiving donated blood and the list goes on. The protocol for blood means you test someone first and the protocol for medical equipment means you sterilize everything. It does not take much to do if you have a heart not wanting to expose others to anything.
You have the right to ask questions of your healthcare team
I do not think people realize that you have a right to ask any doctor a question about how their procedure works when cleaning equipment and testing for blood or where they get their blood donations. If a person asks to see many will show you to help you to feel much more comfortable.
If they say that they use autoclaving (wet heat) then that is one sterilization that a lot of them do use. It is supposed to be one of the best methods out there. Tell your loved ones that it is okay to ask questions and have that conversation with any healthcare provider.
I have learned over the years that I am responsible for my health, and we all have to speak up. If you do not feel you can have someone else, do it for you. If not, you will regret not doing it.
I give you my lived experiences.
Have you ever been unhoused or insecurely housed?