PHLEBOTOMY: Migden Wants Tougher Standards
Following reports last week that a Palo Alto lab technician reused needles to draw blood from patients, Assemblywoman Carol Migden (D-San Francisco) yesterday said she would introduce legislation tightening standards for phlebotomists. "Sometimes it takes calamities or unfortunate incidents for lawmakers to take another look at regulations," Migden said. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that more than "3,600 patients of the SmithKline Beecham blood lab" in Palo Alto "have been advised to have precautionary tests for AIDS and hepatitis" after a phlebotomist "admitted that she occasionally washed old needles and used them again on lab clients." Midgen said her measure would implement improved training standards for phlebotomists based on recommendations made by the state's Clinical Laboratory Technical Advisory Committee in 1997 for legislation that was rejected by then-Gov. Pete Wilson (Russell, 4/20).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.