W. Va. Clinic Accused of Reusing Needles
Unsafe Injection Practices
The report says that the West Virginia Bureau of Public Health has opened an investigation in Valley Pain Management, operated by Dr. Roland Chalifoux. Chalifoux has been accused of follow unsafe injection practices, including reusing needles and vials of medication on multiple patients.
A statement from the commissioner and state health officer of the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health, Dr. Letitia Tierney, said. “Our primary responsibility in public health is to protect the public. While we cannot determine if these procedures caused any illnesses, it is possible this practice may have exposed Valley Pain Management patients to infections.”
The agency has requested a list of the clinic’s patients in order to contact them and advise they undergo tests for Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV.
Impact of Unsafe Injection Practices
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note that since 2001, more than 150,000 patients in the U.S. have been impacted in some way by unsafe medical injections. The CDC explains that these breaches of protocol can expose patients to “bloodborne illness such as hepatitis and HIV, and to life-threatening bacterial injections.”
The agency advises patients to ask the following questions of their healthcare provider:
- Will there be a new needle, new syringe, and a new vial for this procedure or injection?
- Can you tell me how you prevent the spread of infections in your facility?
- What steps are you taking to keep me safe?