CDC Launches Campaign to Prevent Infections in Outpatient Oncology Clinics

012.JPGWhile there has been some progress in the reduction of hospital-acquired infections, the increasing incidence of infections at outpatient clinics has been a source of concern to Indiana medical malpractice attorneys. Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched a campaign to reduce infection rates at outpatient oncology clinics.

These outpatient clinics have become a much preferred source of healthcare for cancer patients, not just for diagnostics, but also for medical and surgical services. There are a number of advantages that outpatient oncology clinics offer. For one thing, they offer cheaper healthcare than hospitals. They are also much more convenient. However, in recent months, there have been a number of incidences of infection outbreaks in these outpatient oncology clinics.

The most well-known of these is the one that occurred in New Jersey at a hemotology- oncology clinic. Patients, who underwent treatment at the clinic for cancer contracted hepatitis C from the use of contaminated saline bags and reused vials. In another case, the practice of needle reuse at a Mississippi oncology clinic led to an infection outbreak that ultimately led to the closure of the clinic.

Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has established guidelines for the prevention of infections at these clinics. These guidelines are purely voluntary, and will promote safe injection practices, safe techniques for administering medications and sterilization procedures.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recently turned its sights to safety in outpatient clients. In July, the agency released guidelines for the prevention of infections at outpatient units involved in pain management, surgery clinics and other outpatient settings. The agency has also established a special website dedicated to answering common questions about infections and cancer.