It’s not long ago that the Clinical Waste Discussion Forum made mention of the considerable IV drug abuse problems in Dundee and the mapping strategies that are being used to combat the problem.

Further news from the city paints a poor picture:

 

Action on discarded needle danger in Dundee

Experts tackling Dundee’s drug problem want more information about where needles are discarded throughout the city.

The number of victims of needle injuries — often children who come to grief while playing — has sparked public outrage especially in the affected communities.

The problem resurfaced only last month when a young girl suffered a needlestick injury in Ardler. Two days later in the same spot medicine bottles, syringes, spoon packs and empty syringe wrappers were found.

Louise Kerr, whose 10-year-old daughter Tia, sustained the needle wound, said: “They don’t care if they’re putting children at risk, be it their own, or anyone else’s. If they have a drug addiction that’s their problem, but they can’t put other people’s lives at risk.”

Needle wielding drug addict jailed for Dundee salon robbery

A beauty therapist has spoken of the terrifying moment a needle wielding drug addict robbed her newly opened business.

Margaret McManus told of her horror when Christopher Rennie thrust an uncapped hypodermic in the face of her colleague, hairdresser Rachel Burns, at their Meadowside premises Midas Touch.

Rennie, 30, a prisoner at Perth Prison, was sentenced to three years in prison for the assault and robbery on June 12.

Dundee boy,  6, finds used needle in his   garden

A Dundee father has expressed his disgust after his young son picked up a used needle while playing outside his home.

Six-year-old Andrew Cox had been outside his family’s Douglas home when he stumbled upon a discarded syringe.

Dad Andrew, 35, said: “His mum was in the close hanging out the washing and Andrew was running around playing. He came across this needle and, not knowing what it was, picked it up to show his mum.”

 

 

 

 

An NHS Trust has agreed to pay £75k to a nurse whose marriage broke down after she developed OCD when she was pricked by needle at work.

The trainee nurse has been awarded over £75,000 compensation after a prick on her finger at work transformed her into a cleaning obsessive. Alcinda Tobbal could not kiss or make love to her husband for fear of ‘contamination’ after being jabbed with a dirty needle whilst working as a nurse assistant at Whipps Cross Hospital in east London
The 45-year-old developed a ‘severe’ obsessive compulsive disorder focused on cleanliness after the incident in February 2008, a court heard.

She was dismissed from her job due to the effects of the extreme OCD condition, which saw her wearing gloves even in baking hot weather and scrubbing her children’s shoes with bleach whenever they had been outside.

But the most damaging aspect of her condition was that she became incapable of having intimate relations with, or even kissing, her bus driver husband, leading to the disintegration of their marriage, after he dubbed her ‘mental’. Continue reading “NHS pays £75k to nurse who developed OCD after sharps injury” »

Make Your Own Sharps ContainerWe are repeatedly instructed by the Environment Agency to follow the American standards for aspects of clinical waste management and in particular waste treatment validations. The problem is, certain individuals within the Environment Agency have been bedazzled by the American way, and no doubt by their expenses-paid trips to see for themselves.

Science goes out of the window, and dare not be used in objection to a rigid regimen of regulation since the American way is THE way. Even when it goes wrong and exceptions arise, a quiet diversion is approved ‘on the nod’ but rarely discussed, handed down as if a gift of the gods to be accepted with grace. And don’t dare mention that it contradicts all that might have gone before.

But the generality of “America knows best” is not a sentiment to which I can concur.

The latest cones from the American Diabetes Association and their magazine Diabetes Forecast, The Healthy Living Magazine. Noting that there are no national regulations to tell people how and where to get rid of sharps, the magazine goes on to explain how to make your own sharps container. It’s better than nothing, but that’s not good enough.

We should not overlook the reality that in the absence of any better sharps bin product, this approach is better than nothing. But the standards of clinical waste management across US vary considerably, and much will make your toes curl.

This latest ‘recommendation’ for a DIY sharps bin shows how poor standards of US waste safety really are.

America knows best?  Not always!

 

 

 

 

Needle with drop of bloodNeedle exchange schemes are a great idea. They permit drug use to be monitored, prevent disease transmission by needle sharing, and reduce dramatically the incidence of discarded needles causing problems in the community.

Regrettably, and perhaps understandably, some residents can’t see past those benefits and would prefer that any needle exchange scheme was in someone else’s back yard. Still others object simply to public money, their money, being spent to support the evils of drug abuse. That is their opinion, but if in no other that a purely financial way they should realise that they have got the equation entirely wrong.

These local residents are perhaps in the former group, but still take to the streets to oppose a local needle exchange scheme – even one that doesn’t exist!

Read more at the Swindon Advertiser

 

 

Kevlar inventor Stephanie KwoleyStephanie Kwolek, the inventor of Kevlar — the aramid-fiber body armor that has saved countless lives of soldiers, police and other safety personnel — died June 18, following a brief illness. She was 90.

A low-key industrial chemist at DuPont Co who achieved international fame, Kwolek discovered Kevlar in the mid-1960s. DuPont commercialized it in 1971. Kevlar most famously goes into bulletproof vests, but it also is used to make super-strong rope, protective gloves for meatpackers, fiber-optic cables and as a reinforcement for composites used in a host o f products.

Kwolek was inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame in 1997 — she is still the only woman in the hall today. That same year, she received the prestigious Perkin Medal from the Society of Chemical Industry’s American Section. Kwolek entered the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1995. She also is a member of the Engineering and Science Hall of Fame. In 1996, she received the National Medal of Technology in a White House ceremony.

Kevlar aramid fibers are, by weight, five times stronger than steel. Continue reading “Stephanie Kwolek, the inventor of Kevlar dies at 90” »

Exeter recycling

More than 2,100 needles were collected last year at the Exeter recycling plant

Discarded hypodermic syringes brought Exeter’s rubbish recycling plant to a halt 869 times last year.

The stoppages happened after needles were thrown into green recycling bins and ended up on a conveyor for sorting.

Each stoppage may last only a few minutes, but staff estimate that the plant lost a week’s productivity because of the problem last year.

Only one of the 20 sorters has been pricked by a needle and was tested negative for infections like HIV.

Needle
The city council’s street cleaners and gardeners are picking up about 50 used needles a day

“They never know when a used hypodermic needle is going to suddenly appear in front of them”

An emergency bell is rung each time a needle is spotted and disposed of in a special container.

Continue reading “Needles halt recycling plant’s picking line 869 times” »

A five-year-old schoolboy was jabbed by a heroin addict’s needle which was thrown into his school’s play area minutes before break time yesterday.

The child, who attends North Presentation primary school on the north side of Cork City, picked it up unaware of the danger and was jabbed in the hand, puncturing his skin.

Principal Kathleen Haverty said teachers became aware of the incident immediately, contacted the boy’s parents, and a member of staff accompanied them to the Mercy University Hospital where the boy underwent a series of tests.

He and his family now face an anxious wait for results to see if he has contracted any diseases from the dirty needle.

[read more]

That anxious wait is where the trouble starts. The child’s parents and extended family, the school staff and other parents who have children at that school will all now fear the consequences of this injury, irrespective of what we must hope will be a safe and uneventful period of vigilance without the horrors of bloodborne virus infection.

 

 

 

 

Breaking newsbbc_news

An 11-year-old boy has been arrested after parents complained children had been jabbed with a diabetes finger-prick pen at school.

Police said they had identified at least 20 children they believed had been jabbed at Moreton Community School in Wolverhampton.

Public health officials have been told and pupils have been advised to have precautionary hepatitis injections.

The child was arrested in Low Hill and bailed until July.

‘Gravity required’

Head teacher Carl Williams said: “We take the health, wellbeing and safety of all our students extremely seriously and we have worked closely with the health experts from Public Health England and the local NHS to advise on the best course of action for the students affected.

“We would like to assure all parents and guardians that we are treating this incident with the gravity required.”

The BBC understands the diabetes finger-prick pen belonged to a parent.

‘Wellbeing of students’

Low Hill neighbourhood police co-ordinator Steve Perry confirmed they received three reports on Tuesday from parents saying children at the Old Fallings Lane school had been jabbed with the pen.

“It has a needle ‘nib’ just 3mm in length so none of the children are seriously hurt and public health officials have advised that the chance of infection is negligible,” he said.

Letters have been sent out to parents of the year seven pupils affected, telling them what they need to do, as well as parents of other pupils to keep them informed.

Dr David Kirrage consultant at the West Midlands West Health Protection Team said: “We have been working closely with the school to advise the best course of action, to ensure the continued health and wellbeing of students involved in the incident.

“We have been liaising with NHS colleagues including the A&E department at New Cross Hospital. We are also contacting local GPs as the students receiving an initial vaccine from A&E will need a couple of follow-up vaccinations from their own family doctor, one and two months after the incident.”

 

Just what is it about kids, that they find needles so attractive to touch, to pick up, to play with, and when the opportunity arises to stick themselves or each other with them?

 

 

 

 

A 12-YEAR-OLD boy has suffered a needlestick injury while playing at his inner Brisbane city school, sparking fear among parents their children could catch HIV.

Parents at Brisbane Central State School, which is next to a homeless shelter, are also upset they weren’t all told about the incident, which involved three students.

The Courier-Mail has confirmed at least one of the students underwent blood tests at the Royal Children’s Hospital and was cleared of any infection, but was given immunisations as a result of the rusty needle.

The 12-year-old boy said he was pricked on the thumb after he picked up the syringe, which had a sheath on it, to show a teacher after telling a younger student to put it down.

It is understood hospital staff only saw the needle prick only after applying pressure to the boy’s thumb.

Brisbane Central State School principal Melissa Burke said three boys found the needle behind the basketball courts during their first break on Monday at 11.25am.

She said while syringes had been found on school grounds in the past it was not a common occurrence and ground staff conducted daily sweeps.

“The students, in Years 2, 5 and 7, told a teacher aide – the school’s Workplace Health and Safety Officer – they received a pin prick from the needle so immediate first aid was applied and their hands were also sanitised,” Ms Burke said.

“The school contacted each student’s parents and suggested that they take their child to see their doctor as a precautionary measure.

“Students were advised of the incident at an assembly on Tuesday and were provided with important safety information about what to do if they find a needle.”

She said all parents would be notified about the incident today in the newsletter.

“The school’s highest priority was ensuring the safety of the particular students involved and informing their parents immediately,” she said.

But parents yesterday, who spoke on condition of anonymity said they were upset to hear about the incident from their children rather than the school and were concerned about drug users on St Paul’s Terrace or a nearby homeless shelter throwing them into school grounds.

“Something’s going to happen; IT’s a ticking time bomb,” one parent said.

“I don’t want to read about a child that’s caught HIV from such needles, and that’s them for the rest of their lives. Or it could be hep B or C?”

Salvation Army Major Rick Hoffmann said Pindari, a homeless shelter with a no alcohol and no drugs policy, had not been contacted by the school about the incident but they had increased their night patrols and were now looking into a buying an additional night vision camera.

Pindari also has syringe bins for diabetics.

Predictably, the fear which follows a sharps injury such as this can be worse than the reality of bloodborne virus infection. While we would not wish to diminish in any way, and certainly never to dismiss, that fear let’s hope that’s all it is and that in the longer term no harm is done.

 

 

The news media today are headlining the dramatic rise of drug abuse and needle sharing in gyms and sports clubs across the UK, and proposals by NICE to install needle exchange programs within the gym to prevent spread of bloodborne virus disease.

NICE have updated their draft guidelines and slowly, PHE staff will be including high street gyms in their scope of operation while existing needle exchange schemes, often voluntary or charity-funded, will expand to include some gyms in their sphere of operation.

Steroid abuse is rife in gyms. Needle finds in the toilets of even the shiny brand-name gyms has been a problem for cleaners and maintenance staff but has been hushed up to avoid sullying the healthy reputation of the gymnasium. Any help will be invaluable, though ultimately if these pumped up idiots stopped taking illegal and unregulated steroid products their health would be better still. However, , it happens and this new publicity can help if it followed rapidly be those needle exchange schemes and not suppressed by the gym owners, keen to maintain their clean image.

Though there are crime issues involved in the illegal manufacture, distribution and supply of these anabolic steroids and other injectables used as tanning enhancers, safety and protection of public health is ever more important.

Nonetheless, the abuse of injectable drugs is now rife and initiatives such as needle exchange schemes are essential in order to stop the spread of bloodborne virus disease.

This suggests that sharps bins and subsequent disposal should be appropriate for pharmaceutical waste disposal, though colour coding of sharps bins, with the exception of purple-lidded bins for cytotoxics, seems to have fallen largely into disarray.

 

see also http://www.ianblenkharn.com/?p=6438
see also Further drug abuse in sports and gymnasia
see also Muscle bound sharps users

…and so on!

Indeed, if you search this site for the word GYM you will find much more. Looking back through the archive files you will find much more, going way back to late 2006 when the Clinical Waste Discussion Forum first raised this observation which has subsequently grown massively, to become something of a global health issue.

 

 

 

“A 2-year-old girl became the second child reported to be stuck by a “dirty needle” in Rolla, Missouri in the last seven weeks.

“According to the Rolla Police Department’s daily media log, an entry for Sunday, April 6, stated that the girl was “stuck in her left palm with a ‘dirty needle’ while playing in her front yard” in the 900 block of Fourth Street.

“According to Rolla police, a 12-year-old boy was stuck in the arm by a “dirty needle” after he and another 12-year-old boy started playing with several used hypodermic syringes they found Feb. 21 in the 1000 block of Laguille Court near Mark Twain Elementary School.

“A post from Sunday on the police department’s Facebook page states that “drug users (who also carry communicable diseases) would rather throw their used contaminated needles in conspicuous places so they don’t get busted by the police for being in ‘possession of drug paraphernalia.’ The problem is when we have heavy rains like we had a few days ago those needles float out of those places and into places where children can find them.

Read more: http://www.therolladailynews.com/article/20140407/News/140408881#ixzz2yHy9yJbm

See also 2-year old stuck by discarded needle

 

 

A Strabane schoolgirl has had an apparently lucky escape after falling onto a discarded syringe needle while walking home from school.

The horrifying incident happened close to the town’s St Mary’s Primary School. The 12-year-old was on her way home from an after-school club when she tripped and fell. She landed on the needle, cutting her hand.

Her anguished mother took her to Altnagelvin hospital on Friday where tests were carried out. They have since come back clear. Examinations of the needle have also indicated that it was clean and had not been previously used.

See more at: http://ulsterherald.com/2014/04/07/schoolgirl-falls-on-discarded-needle/#sthash.ugU19FYV.dpuf

Sadly, that’s not quite the end of it, since there remains a 6-9 month period during which the risk, however small, may continue. The girl may leave A&E with just a plaster covering a cut or puncture site but the risk of infection, and the even greater risk of post-traumatic anxiety focussed upon the risk of infection, cannot so easily be dismissed.

Let’s hope the girl and her family, who can be similarly and perhaps more severely affected, will by OK.

 

 

 

A 2-year old girl was ‘jabbed’ in the palm of her hand – penetrating her skin – after picking the needle up from the floor of a toilet at the MacDonald’s restaurant in the Castlemilk district of Glasgow.

Mum reported that the little girl had picked the needle up from the floor of a toilet in the restaurant, and was later assessed at Glasgow Victoria Infirmary.

I wonder how this incident will impact on the overall mapping of sharps finds across Scottish cities, and if that system pas finds on private land and in domestic or commercial premises. Probably not.

see Thousands of syringes on Scotland’s streets

 

 

 

Dozens of dirty needles were discovered by a dog walker on a riverbank, prompting fears for the safety of passers-by.

Andree Wood, a nurse from Grangetown in Cardiff, takes her three-year-old pooch Lilly for a walk under Penarth bridge at Taff Embankment twice a day – but said she has never seen so many needles discarded on the footpath.

“I am very much concerned that anyone could stand on one of the needles as it’s such a popular spot for dog walkers and people who go fishing.

Mum-of-three Andree said she has come across a couple of needles under the bridge about every six months since she started walking Lilly. “I have never seen this amount of needles before,” she said. “It’s awful.”

A South Wales Police spokesman said the needles have now been cleared from under the bridge.

It is just rather strange that, as shown in the picture from Wales Today, so many needles and their outer wrappers were discarded in one spot. Presumably, they were dumped from a bag or box.

 

 

 

A boy has stepped onto a needle on Lyme’s main beach.

The five-year-old boy was playing football on the main sandy beach when he stepped on the needle, assumed to be unwrapped, at about 2.30pm, 2.5 metres from the boundary wall near Jane’s Cafe.

The boy, visiting from Somerset, was immediately taken to Dorset County Hospital in Dorchester. He is now receiving a 12-month course of anti-Hepatitis B medication and will have HIV blood tests in six months.

http://www.viewfrompublishing.co.uk/news_view/31514/8/1/lyme-regis-boy-steps-on-needle-on-lyme%E2%80%99s

At five years old, the boy will have been aware of his parents’ anxiety and distress, and will have had the additional stress of a visit to hospital, blood tests and inoculations etc. By now he is probably over that, though there is more to come. But for his mum and dad, and for the extended family, the anguish will continue.

 

 

 

Needle with drop of bloodGoing to Dundee? Then do be careful are watch where you tread.

Newspaper reports raising concern after 180 discarded needles found in Dundee paint a gloomy picture of what is, unquestionably, a gloomy city.

More than 180 needles were found lying in public places in Dundee within three months, “shocking” figures have revealed. The items, which were linked to drug use, were recovered from the Strathmartine council ward area, which includes Ardler, St Mary’s, Kirkton and Downfield. There were also recoveries in Lochee.

Between November and January, 134 items were found in Strathmartine. In one find, 37 unused needles, 19 syringes and one used needle was recovered from behind the shops on Macalpine Road. In Lochee, a further 51 needles were recovered. The biggest single find was eight used needles on Bright Street, with 10 recovered in Whorterbank.

And that’s only the ones that have been found, retrieved, and counted.

The figures were revealed in the latest Local Community Planning Partnership reports for the areas. Information for the other six wards in the city was not included.

Mapping of needle finds is a valuable tool, to gather reliable information on which to plan and deploy resources, not only for safe retrieval but for the full range of public health, preventative, policing and safety measures necessary to manage deep rooted problems of this kind. It will also inform members of the public, which is not always a good idea as it drives communities into a deep and sometimes irrecoverable downward spiral, and looses votes for local councillors!

However, online mapping can achieved be easily – Ottawa does it really well – and there is no reason not to link this to the national ward-by-ward crime maps published by the Police.

And let’s not paint too bad a picture of Dundee, though having been there many times it can’t be too good either. few other UK towns and cities are really much different, it’s just that detailed statistics of needle finds are not freely available.

see also Ottawa needle woes

 

It comes as no surprise that dirty needles are incriminated in hepatitis C spread, especially among IV drug users.

As communities across the state continue to struggle with rising rates of heroin abuse, these users, who are also younger, seem to be contracting the potentially liver-destroying disease hepatitis C at higher rates, according to state data. And health officials in Rochester, Minnesota, suspect dirty needles may be to blame. Continue reading “Dirty needles suspected in hepatitis C spread” »

Ottawa is a lovely city. But it has it’s problems too.

CBC News used the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection Privacy Act to obtain an extract of the database the city uses to track property standard complaints about discarded needles and syringes. The data set in the map above covers the period from 2009 to 2013, and shows the city consistently receives complaints about these discarded items.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/more-discarded-needles-being-found-in-ottawa-s-suburbs-1.2572573

This is a remarkably balanced and informed article, well worth a few minutes to read. The annotated incident map gives much more information regarding incidents if you click on each red dot.

How does your city compare?

 

 

 

Police in Collie, Western Australia, are investigating an incident in which three primary school students were pricked with a needle from a diabetic testing device another student had brought in from home.

Collie Senior Sergeant Mike Dean said police and child protection representatives were called to the school on Tuesday morning, and they had responded following a “series of threatening behaviours” by the 10-year-old student.

“He said the child was too young to be charged.

“Child protection and police are working closely with the child’s carers,” Snr Sgt Dean said.

The school issued a statement in response to the incident.

“On March 18, 2014 three students at St Brigid’s Collie, reported an incident to a teacher involving contact by another student with an object,” the statement read.

“The object used was found to be a diabetic testing device brought from home.

http://www.colliemail.com.au/story/2166902/police-investigate-needlestick-injuries-at-collie-school/?cs=1443

There is a responsibility on the part of the school and the child’s parents, and also on behalf of those providing care to the diabetic child who should have been trained and equipped to manage and dispose lancets and insulin syringes safely.  Police involvement may be appropriate, at least until the circumstances are known, but considering whether a 10-year old child could be charged misses the point entirely!

A horrified father fears he may have contracted life threatening infections after he pricked himself on a dirty needle he found in his new home.

James Gault jagged himself on a needle which was sticking out from a shelf in a kitchen cupboard while he was cleaning his Blairmore Road home in Greenock.

The 40-year-old says he also found another dirty needle lying underneath the shelf.

He has now visited his GP to see if he has contracted HIV or Hepatitis B and C, which can all be caught from dirty needles. Continue reading “Council house bites back” »

Needle with drop of bloodA MindMetre research note on the implementation of EU Directive 2010/32/EU in UK NHS Acute Trusts paints a poor picture of sharps safety compliance.

Now long after the required date for implementation, the introduction of safety engineered safety sharps, and everything else that goes along with the Health and Safety (Sharps Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013 which became live on 11th May 2013, a third of hospital trusts in England are failing to comply with safety regulations designed to reduce the risk of sharps injuries to staff.

MindMetre analysts found 33% of Trusts did not instruct staff to use safety devices “wherever possible” in their sharps policies, despite it being an explicit requirement of health and safety regulations introduced last year on the back of the European Union directive.

The report from business analysts MindMetre investigated the implementation of directive 2010/32/EU, which came into force in May 2010, and was followed by UK guidance from the Health and Safety Executive.

Using the Freedom of Information Act, the analysts obtained details of safety policies from 159 hospital trusts.

Their report said: “The emerging picture is one of widespread progress towards adoption and compliance, but also one which shows that there is considerable ground yet to be covered.” Continue reading “One third of NHS acute Trusts in breach of EU & UK sharps rules” »

City Hall (Town Hall) bathrooms in the city of Racine, Wisconsin, are to get needle containers.

“Mayor John Dickert and Racine Public Health Administrator Dottie-Kay Bowersox said Thursday that they had been wanting to install the receptacles for a while, especially given the high rate of diabetes in the city and county at large.

“Many diabetics must give themselves daily insulin injections and those injections can often take place when they are away from home.

“The city was also prompted to install the containers after two city employees — a public works employee and a health department employee — each accidentally pricked themselves last year with used syringes.

“The Health Department employee was accidentally pricked while administering a blood draw at the clinic at City Hall, 730 Washington Ave. The incident with the public works employee occurred out in field, when the employee accidentally came in contact with a syringe that had been thrown in the trash, Bowersox said. It was not clear what the needle had been used for, she said.

We just wonder quite how many insulin-dependent diabetics work at or visit City Hall? What are the rest injecting?

 

 

 

The Clinical Waste Discussion Forum has previously reported companies offering needlestick insurance, and in Australia at least one provider continues to offer this product.

Acquiring Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or HIV can result in many additional and unexpected care-related costs which must be a serious consideration in countries where a reliable state-funded health service is unavailable.

I wonder what the underwriters do with their profits? Perhaps they invest in and support investment in infection prevention. But perhaps not.

 

 

 

Scots steroid injectors are using almost same number of needle exchanges as heroin addicts. Medic say the number of regular users of the ­bodybuilding drugs has soared across Scotland over the last two years, with the country’s only clinic in Glasgow reporting four times the number of clients since it opened in 2010.

But in the last two years, the Glasgow clinic has reported four times that number of clients. GP Dr Rob Dawson, one of the UK’s leading steroid experts, said: “We found nearly half – about 43 per cent – of people using needle exchanges across the UK are anabolic steroid users.

The Clinical Waste Discussion Forum has warned previously of the explosive increase in illicit steroid abuse among young men keen to show they muscles. The problem is two-fold. Firstly, many users are relying on illicit steroid products that may have serious and generally unwanted side-effects, and have been sharing drug supplies and needles/syringes to give injections. The incidence of bloodborne virus infection, most notably Hepatitis C, is increasing rapidly in the group.

Secondly, those who have yet to engage with a drug support and needle exchange scheme and seeking access to their drug supplies and sharing needles at the high street gyms, where discarded needles are creating significant safety problems. Indeed, though there is apparently some hesitation among gym operators to acknowledge that the problem exists in their establishments, sharps safety training for staff is now, fortunately, more widespread and many gyms have mounted secure sharps bins in the toilets.

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/scottish-news/doctors-warn-scots-steroid-injectors-3061962

see also Steroid misuse increasing in Ireland

see also Chief constable admits police officers across UK ‘are using criminals to buy  steroids and abuse their power for sexual gratification’

see also NICE recommendations – now gyms asked to provide sharps bins

see also Drug abuse in sport

 

 

A young girl was reportedly “distraught” after finding syringes on her seat on a Melbourne tram seat, according to a witness.

The needles were concealed on her seat, according to a post on the user-generated website reddit.

“The needles were jammed into the back and bottom of the seat, between the cushions. Angled outwards,” the witness explained. “The child was crying and distraught.”

Melbourne’s Yarra Trams confirmed that an incident occurred, but a spokesman insisted that the needles were capped, facing inward, and neither mother or daughter were harmed.

The reddit thread also detailed a new style of game where people jab unwitting strangers with fresh needles “to scare the sh*t out of them”.

“It’s done from behind in the back of the arm or leg,” the user wrote.

“You feel the prick of the needle but might not realise what it is and just think you bumped into something sharp until you see some f***er with a needle”.

Takes all sorts!

 

 

 

 

Believing that there is a better solution to needlestick prevention a mechanical design engineer, Stephen Bartlett, is seeking funding for a needlestick injury prevention campaign on indiegogo.com.

The primary motive of this movement is to drive awareness and funds to help promote the use and development of safe hypodermic needles worldwide. Bartlett hopes a worldwide needle stick injury prevention campaign will increase demand for safer hypodermics, thus resulting in more affordable needles for health care workers throughout the world.

As an engineer, I am appalled that this situation has been allowed to occur, noting that HIV and hepatitis transmission rates as a result of needle stick injuries are between 2-5%”. Bartlett goes on to point out that there are several examples of safe hypodermic needles in the market, and yet healthcare workers continue to receive dangerous injuries due to the nature of the traditional throw away syringes.

Bartlett is requesting funds on indiegog.com to help establish an organisational structure, initiate a global awareness campaign and gather base supporters. Development of alternative cheap and safe hypodermic products with a fully blown marketing campaign will require a larger crowd funding campaign. Donation amounts for the initial campaign range from 25 dollars to 25,000 dollars and include enrollment at different levels of the organisation depending on donation amount. The highest donation allows contributors to be part of the steering committee for the campaign. Their role will include advising Bartlett on the best methods of achieving the organisation’s aims. The perk for a 25 dollar donation includes membership in the worldwide organisation.

 

 

In an astounding piece from the Armenian News Agency, it is claimed that “A person cannot be infected with AIDS with a needle”!

The Head of the Armenian AIDS Prevention Centre, Janetta Petrosyan, commenting on incidents where persons are striking individuals with a needle as they pass in crowded public spaces, it is said with some authority that this cannot transmit HIV infection.

It is unlikely, and as stated the HIV virus does not survive drops in temperature, exposure to sunlight or ozone, or desiccation well. With further limitations on transmissibility by the volume of blood present and how fresh that blood is, the concentration of virus particles in the blood (virus titre), the type of needle (hollow or solid), the depth of injury, and first aid measures together with the efficacy of post-exposure prophylaxis, if indicated, HIV transmission is indeed perhaps unlikely.

However, it cannot be overlooked that in such circumstances there are other nasty virus agents that are far more infective and easily transmitted such as Hepatitis C. Thus, bold statements that HIV cannot be transmitted by a sharps injury of this type seem scientifically unfounded and clinically misleading, since it may dissuade affected individuals from seeking medical assistance and follow-up.

With HIV and Hep B/C on the rise in Armenia, if Petrosyan is so sure of this perhaps she would like to try it herself. It’s a risk not worth taking, which harks back to the earlier AIDS prevention slogan, ‘Don’t die of ignorance’.

 

The World Health Organization collates a vast amount of data on the prevalence of all infectious diseases, and has recently updated its top 5 list:

  • Hepatitis B
  • Malaria
  • Hepatitis C
  • Dengue
  • Tuberculosis

With both Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C particularly prominent in their position on this list it is worthy of repeating, that great care must be taken with needles, with other sharps and with any other bloodstained wastes.

 

 

Needle with drop of bloodIn Uganda, an HIV positive nurse has injected a 2-year old baby with a needle she had used on herself.

The baby’s parents discovered the nurse at Victoria Medical Centre, injecting their child with a needle after taking the baby girl to the hospital for a treatment. It was discovered soon after that the nurse was HIV positive and had used a needle on the baby that had made contact with her own blood.

The nurse claims that she accidentally pricked herself with the needle while trying to administer a shot to the baby and that she didn’t intend to infect the child, but authorities are still investigating.

http://www.opposingviews.com/i/health/hiv-positive-nurse-injects-baby-needle-she-used-herself

 

 

 

They’re called vending machines but they don’t dispense soft drinks or snack food.

Instead, the unmarked machines send out one-use sterile syringes for a small fee and also provide a place for used drug paraphernalia to be safely disposed.

Inner-Melbourne looks set to be the next place in Australia to introduce ‘needle vending machines’ in an effort to lower infection and disease rates among drugs users.

Similar programs have been in place in Sydney since the early 1990s, and they exist in most Australian capital cities as well as regional centres. And health experts say they can’t understand why it’s taken this long for Victoria to get on board.

Regrettably, it’s taking other countries far longer to try this. Needle exchange schemes are limited by hours of availability and cost. Though the vending machines are never likely to recover the full cost of their provision it is a step in the right direction and one that will perhaps satisfy the ‘moral majority’ who oppose spending money providing needles to IV drug users.

If placed in convenient locations, with an adjacent and properly secure sharps disposal cabinet this can only be a good thing. The provision of clean needles is a key public health intervention that reduces the incidence of disease transmission through needle sharing. Moreover, since these devices will become a focus a cohort of users the possibility to capture safely used needles and syringes reduces the likelihood of drug litter and the attendant risks of sharps injury to others.

http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2013/s3921091.htm