SAFETY NEEDLES: Chronicle Praises Migden Bill
The San Francisco Chronicle writes that state Assemblywoman Carol Migden (D-San Francisco) "rates a tip of the chapeau for introducing legislation to require California hospitals and other health care facilities to use safety needles to protect medical workers from dangerous needle sticks." The paper says that "[i]t's about time someone in Sacramento took seriously a six-year-old Cal-OSHA regulation that already mandates the use of 'engineering controls'" such as safety needles. However,Cal-OSHA regulators last month told Migden that a "minor technicality" in the regulations prevents the agency from forcing health care facilities to use safety needles to protect health care workers from "dangerous" needle sticks. The Chronicle says the bill (AB 1208) is a "sensible response" to a rash of needle sticks among the nation's 8.8 million health care workers, who receive "more than a million potentially deadly needle sticks" annually. Each year, up to 60,000 workers are infected with "dangerous blood-borne diseases," such as hepatitis B and C and HIV. The safety syringes could cut accidental needle sticks by 76%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (5/21).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.