People have caught the ‘green bug’ — an infection with enthusiasm for recycling. This has extended into health care environments where some inappropriate recycling can be observed.
For example certain plastics and containers are recycled, or inappropriately transferred from patient rooms to be reused in other patient rooms. This is a danger for the spread of infection, and the rampant spread of staph and clostridium infections may be resulting from this and other bad practices. Some health care employees cannot be dissuaded from these practices.
Above linked is a news story about a pediatric clinic in Colorado, (Med Peds Clinic of Fort Collins) where some enterprising employee decided to recycle half used syringe doses of flu vaccine.
Those syringes (to a normal health care worker) are single use items. Even if it had been appropriate to use half of the dose, the remainder should have been tossed out in the biohazardous waste.
Instead the medical assistant changed the needles on the syringe and recycled.
So……. a lot of kids have apparently received half flu doses, and may have been exposed to infection from other patients. There is a practice of pulling back a bit on the syringe, when injecting a vaccine, to make sure it’s not being shot directly into a blood vessel.
Dr Mark S. Simmons of the clinic stated : “we are a little dismayed that one of our former medical assistants did not follow procedures when handling this” Recommendations from the clinic are that patients who received the vaccines be tested for HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, (etc.) There is not a mention of who would cover this expense.
Some things shouldn’t be recycled.