Interest yourself in looking out for the syringe that the medical personnel is using on you. Make sure it has been unsealed in your presence before an injection is given to you or your patient
TWO days ago I watched a rather disturbing news clip on BBC’s Outside Source about an unlicensed Doctor in Roka, Cambodia who injected 272 adults and children by reusing the same syringes and they have all been tested positive for HIV. You can imagine the grave harm he has caused to these innocent lives.
The reporter further showed a type of syringe called the Auto Disable Syringe that can only be used at one go. This type of syringe when used has a plunger that snaps, making it’s re-use impossible.
It was also mentioned that the WHO's hope is to try to achieve a global switch to what are called "auto-disable" syringes that are designed with a feature which effectively breaks them once an injection has been given.
This syringe has been in use for the past ten years and it’s sad that communities like Roka have not yet been reached out to. This brings me closer to home and our medical facilities visa vie personal interest of patients and care takers.
The same scenario could happen to anyone in our community, although use of auto disable syringes is being done in a bigger percentage of our health facilities. Here is a checklist or personal interest tips that I feel I should share with you;
Interest yourself in looking out for the syringe that the medical personnel is using on you. Make sure it has been unsealed in your presence before an injection is given to you or your patient.
Endeavor to look out for the blood lancet/pricker that the Laboratory technician is using to get a blood sample from you. This lancet should be disposed of after use.
Ensure that medical personnel are dressed with infection control sundries when cleaning wounds, administering suppositories and any other highly infectious situations.
Interest yourself in reading the leaflets that come in syrup boxes especially for children. Find out what the prescribed medication is administered for.
Interest yourself in reading prescription notes and treatment notes and endeavor to know the medicine administering schedule which in most cases is 6-8 hourly.
Read further about the medication that has been given. With technology and access to internet it is easier to find information on medication and its uses.
Sterilization of surgical instruments is also key.
Look out for expiry dates especially for syrups and other medication. This should further stretch to over the counter medicine from Pharmacies and food items that we buy from supermarkets.
Negligence and irresponsibility are ranked highly as causes of most death. We should all join hands to help out the health worker who is giving us a service because mistakes are bound to happen.
Over reliance on medical personnel is advisable however it is also important have a sixth sense and take a personal stand to interest yourself in whether you are taking the appropriate medication.
A life is saved when you lend a hand and make health your personal responsibility.
Writer is a Public Relations Assistant at National Medical Stores
Health should become our personal responsibility