Newsroom > DHHS News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 26, 2010

CONTACTS
Marla Augustine, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-4047 or Steve Langan, Hepatitis Outbreak National Organization for Reform and the HONOReform Foundation, steve@HONOReform.org, (402) 659-6343

 

Survivor Featured in Video to Train Health Care Workers on One and Only Campaign

Lincoln—A Nebraska survivor of hepatitis C is featured in a national training video for the One and Only Campaign. The title is a reference to using injectible health equipment, such as syringes and needles, one time and one time only.

Evelyn McKnight of Fremont introduces the training video with her personal story. In 2000 McKnight was found to have breast cancer and sought treatment at a local Fremont oncology clinic, where she received chemotherapy. Her breast cancer later recurred, and a thorough workup showed that she was infected with hepatitis C.

“My husband, who is a family physician, and I were confounded,” McKnight said. “I had no risk factors—no drug abuse, no risky sexual behavior, and no transfusions before 1992.”

Eventually, an investigation conducted in 2002 by the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services found that 99 patients had contracted hepatitis C at the Fremont oncology clinic. The physician in charge of the clinic and a nurse who worked there lost their licenses to practice as a result of their lack of adherence to infection control protocols, which included the reuse of syringes and improper use of saline bags.

“Outbreaks like the one at the Fremont oncology clinic don’t have to occur again,” said Dr. Joann Schaefer, Chief Medical Officer for the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. “This training video emphasizes common sense precautions that can protect patients and prevent future threats to public health.”

The One and Only Campaign is designed to remind health care providers to take basic, evidence-based precautions to protect patients and themselves. The viewer is taken through potential errors that could occur in medication handling or injection preparation or administration. Each scenario ends with a summary of steps that should be taken to assure safe care. The CDC Foundation and the Safe Injection Practices Coalition, which was started by HONOReform Foundation, developed the video.

“Safe injection practices must be reinforced by providers and patients, and the One and Only Campaign video is a great way for all of us to teach and learn,” said Steve Langan, Executive Director of the Hepatitis Outbreak National Organization for Reform (HONOReform) Foundation. “Infections caused by the reuse of medical equipment have caused great damage throughout the United States, and we are working together to make this a national campaign and prevent these outbreaks.”

For more information about the One and Only Campaign, go to www.oneandonlycampaign.org.