Routine Vaccination Turns Into Long Term Testing
Ft. St. James, B.C.- A six year old girl in Ft. St. James will have to undergo months of testing following an incident at the Ft. St. James Health Unit.
The girl was there for routine booster shots last week, but, according to the child’s father, the nurse who was administering the needle had the needle go through the child’s arm into her own hand. There was blood exchanged as that needle was then drawn back through the child’s skin.
The father says he has since learned the nurse is HIV positive. “We are horrified” says the girl’s father. 250News will not identify the father in order to protect the identity of the child in this matter. He is angry the nurse, who he says is undergoing treatment for HIV, was allowed to continue to have contact with patients.
Northern Health Chief Medical Health Officer, Dr. Sandra Allison cannot disclose any information on the employee involved, but says Northern Health cannot prevent the employee from working with patients “The organization cannot discriminate against people based on their blood borne pathogen status including HIV and Hepatitis B, it is a human right to be able to continue to work.”
Dr. Allison says the College of Physicians and the College of Registered Nurses in B.C. have policies and guidelines in place “To limit the practice of practitioners to ensure that exposure prone procedures aren’t done by people who have blood borne pathogen infections.” But those exposure prone procedures do not include administering vaccinations. “And we expect our health care providers to work within those guidelines.”
She says in this particular case, there was no breach of the guidelines, however, Northern Health is undertaking an internal review of the circumstances. ” We need to ensure that all processes and procedures were followed and if there are any changes that need to be made, we certainly will be doing that.”
Dr. Allison says Northern Health is working with the family and the staff “Having been made aware of the event, we deeply regret the event and we apologize for the incident, the unfortunate accident with that child”.