Preventing Bloodborne Infections When Using Fingerstick Devices

October 31, 2019 0 By Jose Scott


>>Rayner: FDA AND CDC
ARE ALERTING HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS AND PATIENTS ABOUT THE RISK OF TRANSMITTING
HEPATITIS B VIRUS AND OTHER INFECTIOUS DISEASES WHEN
FINGERSTICK DEVICES ARE USED ON MORE THAN ONE PERSON. THESE DEVICES PUNCTURE THE SKIN
TO OBTAIN SMALL AMOUNTS OF BLOOD FOR TESTING SOMEONE’S
BLOOD GLUCOSE, HEMOGLOBIN, OR OTHER BLOOD COMPONENTS. SOME OF THEM ARE DESIGNED
FOR SINGLE USE, OTHERS FOR MULTIPLE USE. THEY CAN COME PACKAGED WITH
POINT-OF-CARE BLOOD TESTING DEVICES OR SOLD SEPARATELY.>>IN RECENT YEARS,
THE FDA AND CDC HAVE NOTED AN INCREASE IN REPORTED HBV
OUTBREAKS ASSOCIATED WITH USING MULTIPLE-USE FINGERSTICK DEVICES
ON MORE THAN ONE PERSON. MUCH OF THE INCREASE HAS
OCCURRED IN LONG-TERM CARE SETTINGS, SUCH AS NURSING HOMES
AND ASSISTED-LIVING FACILITIES, WHERE RESIDENTS OFTEN NEED
SOMEONE TO HELP MONITOR THEIR BLOOD GLUCOSE LEVELS.>>BUT THIS RISK EXISTS IN ANY
SETTING WHERE FINGERSTICK PROCEDURES ARE PERFORMED, INCLUDING ACUTE CARE FACILITIES,
AS WELL AS CLINICS, HEALTH FAIRS, SHELTERS, DETENTION
FACILITIES, SENIOR CENTERS, SCHOOLS, AND CAMPS. FOR EXAMPLE, AT A HEALTH FAIR IN
NEW MEXICO EARLIER THIS YEAR, DOZENS OF PEOPLE WERE
POTENTIALLY EXPOSED TO BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS WHEN THEY
WERE SCREENED FOR DIABETES WITH FINGERSTICK DEVICES THAT WERE
BEING REUSED.>>USING FINGERSTICK DEVICES ON
MORE THAN ONE PERSON MAY NOT BE SAFE, FOR SEVERAL REASONS. FOR EXAMPLE, IMPROPER USE OR
DEVICE MALFUNCTION CAN MEAN THAT A CONTAMINATED LANCET BLADE
MIGHT BE USED ON MORE THAN ONE PATIENT. IT’S ALSO DIFFICULT TO ENSURE
THAT ALL BLOOD HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM THE REUSABLE PORTIONS OF
THE FINGERSTICK DEVICE.>>FDA AND CDC RECOMMEND A
NUMBER OF PRECAUTIONS TO HELP PREVENT TRANSMISSION OF
BLOODBORNE PATHOGENS. HERE ARE SOME OF THEM —
NEVER USE FINGERSTICK DEVICES ON MORE THAN ONE PERSON. IN SITUATIONS WHERE PATIENTS ARE
ASSISTED WITH BLOOD GLUCOSE MONITORING, USE SINGLE-USE
DISPOSABLE FINGERSTICK DEVICES THAT PREVENT REUSE THROUGH AN
AUTODISABLING FEATURE. EVEN WHEN YOU’RE FOLLOWING THESE
PRECAUTIONS, BE SURE TO WASH YOUR HANDS AND CHANGE GLOVES
BETWEEN PATIENTS. FOR MORE INFORMATION,
GO TO OUR WEB SITE.