WhiteCoat

New Public Health Hazard

I took my daughter to her pediatrician’s office for her immunizations and it never ceases to amuse me how little logic is contained within the agencies that are supposed to be protecting our health.

To prevent the spread of infection, the Medical Marijuana Advocates (a.k.a. the Joint Commission) have apparently made it a “standard” to discard or sterilize anything that comes in contact with a patient’s skin. Because if something touches one patient and then touches another, they could get deadly infections. Forget about the 600 pound inappropriate antibiotic receiving gorilla in the room. After all, inappropriate antibiotic prescriptions have nothing at all to do with cultivating or spreading resistant organisms. Actually, I don’t know what are contained in Joint Commission standards because the only way people can find out what the standards are is to purchase them at $1485 for a site license or a bargain basement $297 for an individual license. I’ll pass, thanks.

What I do know is that landfills are now full of tourniquets that touched a patient’s skin during blood draws and I have yet to see one blinded study showing how discarding tourniquets under Joint Commission “standards” has stopped the spread of pestilence in our society. Yet blood pressure cuffs that touch a much larger surface area of a patient’s skin before touching another large part of another patient’s skin get a pass. Go figure.

Then comes the bacterial nexus of death in the pediatrician’s office. No, it’s not the stethoscope. No, not the prescription pad with all the amoxicillin or azithromycin you can drink for your cough or fever. It’s something that just screams out for kids to rub their grubby hands all over it in unison to create a microcosm of shared bacterial and viral genomes that can be spread amongst unsuspecting families.

It’s …

It’s …

The Color Changing Finger Board!

How many kids rub their noses or pick other orifices, then touch this thing, then put their hands back in their nose or alternate orifices? Never mind. I don’t even want to know. It is like a giant JCAHO-authorized petri dish.
Maybe its a way for pediatricians’ offices to assure return visits in a couple of weeks.

Before I left, I actually touched the board. I drew a little picture of a bug in the left upper corner of the board. He was holding onto a club getting ready to beat the large alligator bug that someone gouged underneath him. How do little kids get sharp objects in the doctor’s office play room so that they can gouge pictures of alligator bugs onto the magical touch board, anyway?

After I took the picture (using my opposite hand), I went and touched a bunch of magazines. Then I touched a door handle. Then I touched some windows, a couple of desks, and a chair, too. Mwuuuuuhahahahaha.

My null hypothesis is that there will be no greater death rate in the community due to my actions.

Either that or I’m going to be quite sick in the next week or so.

That reminds me. Did I wash my hands before I started typing this post?

12 Responses to “New Public Health Hazard”

  1. Lisa says:

    I thought you were going to say it’s the Bead Maze, but maybe no kid actually ever plays with those…

  2. Gene says:

    We joke in the Peds ED all the time about the fomites in the waiting room. All those fun toys to help share the love (or RSV, or enterovirus, or rota, or whatever the flavor of the month). Great way to earn repeat business.

  3. davidhowardojai says:

    Here’s my theory for the next epidemic: health workers cell phones. Everyone I see in hospital is texting like mad. Frowned upon but not prohibited, plus everyone has a texting hiding place.

  4. The logic system that goes into infection control was created by a skilled team of orangutans, high on LSD. It drives me crazy to spend 3 precious minutes gowning and gloving outside a patient’s room for contact precautions only to watch the Patient Care Tech wheel by me with an uncleaned vitals machine which they will proceed to strap directly to the patient.

  5. SeaSpray says:

    You’re funny WC. :)

    What about pulse oximeters too? The germaphobe in me would cringe when I saw some staff put them on some patients that had dried blood on fingers. ???

    What does hospital staff do with blood pressure cuff with MRSA patients?

    My current dentist office assistant only wipes with a cloth. I admit my germaphobne thoughts kick in, but I wear them.

    I know of a dental office (not mine)in which the staff doesn’t use gloves when setting up (contamination?)instruments or gathering them for cleaning after. My friend asked about gloves after and woman said only if she sees blood. But ..couldn’t there be microscopic bits of blood?

    OSHA standards?

    • MamaOnABudget says:

      When my last child was born, they used disposable BP cuffs on me and her. In fact, they gave me hers to put in her baby box (?). JC got them, too.

  6. KT says:

    I work in an outpatients dialysis service that has a shift of patients that is totally infectious (ie, has MRSA, VRE, ESBL whatever the latest abbreviation is). These people are touching your shopping trolleys! Using your elevators! Walking your streets! I think the time for panic has arrived.

  7. Andy says:

    In a just universe, the Joint Commission would spend eternity with Osama Bin Laden, sucking pig ***** in Hell.

  8. Paul says:

    “You will never understand bureaucracies until you understand that for bureaucrats procedure is everything and outcomes are nothing.”

    -Thomas Sowell

  9. defendUSA says:

    Mwahahaha is right! The standards to the standards never seem to match and agencies like OSHA seem to overlap other commissions and no one can make heads or tails of any of it…until you post, of course! :)

  10. Starjack says:

    I agree. If the Medical Marijuana Advocates want to enforce inane procedures, they could at least do it consistently. Tourniquets are bad but finger boards are okay? Geez.

  11. WhiteCoat says:

    In case you’re interested in a contrarian point of view, review this comment at Walter Olson’s Overlawyered.com

    http://overlawyered.com/2012/08/july-31-roundup-3/#comment-171696

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