February 29, 2008
AANA Response to Hepatitis C Outbreak in Nevada
The American Association of Nurse Anesthetists (AANA) wishes to express its deepest concern for the six patients who contracted Hepatitis C allegedly during procedures at the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada, and for other patients of the center who now must be tested for this and other viruses as well. As leading advocates for anesthesia patient safety, the AANA supports a thorough examination of this case to answer the many remaining questions about the outbreak and to prevent such an occurrence from happening again.
Safe anesthesia care by nurse anesthetists based on adherence to practice standards, guidelines, and the code of ethics is critical to the public’s well-being. Specific to the situation in Nevada, the AANA Infection Control Guide states that “Instructions for preparation, storage, and administration of all pharmaceutical agents provided by each manufacturer shall be read and followed.” Further, the AANA’s position on the reuse of needles and syringes is clearly stated in the Guide as follows: “Properly dispose of all needles and syringes after use. Do not reuse needles and syringes. Once used, all needles and syringes are contaminated. They are single-use items.”
Additional public information about this particular occurrence is available from the Nevada State Health Division.
The AANA will continue to monitor and address the situation in Nevada via the AANA website at www.aana.com.
2008 News Release Archive