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Poked with dirty needle...


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35 replies to this topic

#21 katbemeEMT-B

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 04:07 PM

I did not say we drive like idiots. utmost caution is used when driving. Speed limits are not broken. The lights and sirens are used to move traffic out of the way as the only access is a two lane road with lines of traffic that can be endless.. That doesn't mean the crew fly down the road faster than the speed of light. It also doesn't mean they fly through intersections like they are owners of the road. Even if we are on a run we approach every intersection with extreme caution and more often than not come to a complete stop before entering it.

The reason for the life threat is that there is a high incident of heroin use and have been many reported cases of HIV. It is a small liberal community with a great outreach program. I will say that I only know of one needle stick that has taken place and that was before we got the retractables. BTW: The lab tech rides with to care for the sample. The crew has no contact with it and no, the supervisor has no vehicle other than his personal vehicle. We are a city owned, hospital operated service. We are not connected to the fire department other than rescue helps with extrication. We have four trucks and run two per shift. The other two sit in the garage not being used. We are not taking a unit out of service or crew as many of the crew live close by.
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#22 Ruffmeister Paramedic

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 04:50 PM

You can drive like the safest driver in the world, obeying all the traffic laws and such but accidents still happen.

Your company has NO I repeat no defense if there is an accident and you are transporting the blood work.

this is a trainwreck waiting to happen.
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#23 katbemeEMT-B

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 05:10 PM

So would it be ANY different if it were a courrier company and they had the accident? The only difference is they would be liable and they drive like sh*t. It falls under the same actions as if it were an organ being transported except they drive like raped apes to get there with that organ/s. I have seen that happen on more than one ocassion by the biggest service in our state. We take pride in our service and the fact that we are accident free and we intend to keep it that way. Yes, accidents happen but that is why we are taught to be proactive drivers not reactive drivers. We are always looking ahead for any dangers and approach everything with caution whether we have the right of way or not. As I stated, the driver MUST follow all traffic laws, stopping when required. Once the crew reaches the city limits the lights and sirens are turned off and they run routine. The main reason for the lights and sirens is to gain passage on the two lane road that is heavily traveled. It was something that was okayed through the State so apparently they agree that it is a neccessity.

BTW: Not that I don't want to continue this...but we are getting off topic from Anthony's original post and I don't want to be a post stealer. You can pm me if you would like to. I have no problem with that.
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#24 Ruffmeister Paramedic

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 05:15 PM

ok, fair enough but even though the state says it's ok you are ultimately still liable.

Not once did I criticise the driving, I did not say you all drove like idiots, I distinctly said that even if you follow all the rules of the road, all the preventive driving that you can, there is still the possibility that an accident can occur.

Plus your companies argument falls flat that when you run hot on the two lane road and then turn off your lights and sirens when you hit the city makes your companies arguments that the state said you could do it this way moot.

let's hope your company never has to defend itself in court for a accident caused or not caused by your driver while transporting a blood tube. I do not believe that you can defend this policy.

I'll stop arguing this point but I do want to see what others have to say about this particular policy your company has.

Anyone want to chime in?
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#25 PRPGfirerescuetech

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Posted 19 July 2007 - 05:18 PM

Anthony,

I speak to you as an EMS OSHA designated officer, infection control officer, OSHA instructor in-house as well as an OSHA consultant in the EMS field.

When it comes to risk, Doc is right, to a point.

Looking back through history in regards to HIV and AIDS, your patient would have been 60 years old when a name was put to this disease. This disease, it should be noted, did exist well before this time (around 1980).

Your patient may have contracted it though several means, and does not fit the most likely age grouping to submit for a test after the disease was named and the full scope of the epidemic was determined.

Regarding other diseases.

HEP B, HEP C, and a number of other less potent diseases are probibly of more concern.
(AS medic ccjh noted)

Did your company offer you a blood test (on yourself) as well as medical blood test surveillence on yourself over the next 6 months?

They have to.

Did your company offer you counciling regarding the exposure with a psychologist?

They have to.

Did your company pick up the bill for the prophelactic medications?

They have to.

Did your company council you on the risks of the exposure before you were given the medication?

They have to.

Theres a lot more, but this is the basics. If your exposure was down to the muscle, then you really should be receiving three things.

Regular blood test medical surveilence, at thtime of the exposure, 6 weeks, 12 weeks, 6 months, and 12 months.

did you get a HEP B innoculation? Did your company offer it to you?

They were supposed to.

EMS is ages behind compliance in infection control and infectious diseases.
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