New Nevada Law Ensures Safe Injection Practices

June 14, 2011

The Nevada Legislature has passed a very important piece of legislation aimed at ensuring safe injection practices by healthcare professionals in the state.

Senate Bill 419 was passed by the Nevada Legislature on June 4, 2011 and approved by the Governor Brian Sandoval on June 13, 2011. The law goes into effect on October 1, 2011.

Nevada’s New Safe Injection Law

Nevada’s new safe injection law requires certain healthcare professionals applying for new or renewal licenses to “attest to knowledge of and compliance with the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concerning the prevention of transmission of infectious agents through safe and appropriate injection practices.”

The law applies to the following professionals:

  • firefighters,
  • emergency medical services attendants (defined as a person responsible for the care of a sick or injured person in an ambulance or air ambulance; including the driver of an ambulance but not the pilot of an air ambulance),
  • emergency medical technicians,
  • radiologic technologists,
  • nuclear medicine technologists,
  • physicians,
  • physician assistants,
  • perfusionists,
  • professional nurses,
  • practical nurses,
  • osteopathic medicine practitioners and physician assistants,
  • oriental medicine practitioners,
  • podiatrists,
  • pharmacists and intern pharmacists, and
  • medical laboratory applicants whose job duties include administration of injections.
  • In addition, physicians must provide the attestation of safe injection knowledge for any person who is under the control and supervision of the physician if the person is not licensed and their duties involve injection practices.

The law is applicable to the Health Division of the Department of Health and Human Services, certain district boards of health and certain boards that license, register, or certify healthcare professionals.

CDC Infection Safety

Injected medicines are commonly used in healthcare settings for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of various illnesses. Unsafe injection practices put patients and healthcare providers at risk of infectious and non-infectious adverse events and have been associated with a wide variety of procedures and settings. This harm is preventable. Safe injection practices are part of Standard Precautions and are aimed at maintaining basic levels of patient safety and provider protections. As defined by the World Health Organization, a safe injection does not harm the recipient, does not expose the provider to any avoidable risks and does not result in waste that is dangerous for the community. – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The CDC provides important injection safety information for providers and patients. Safe injection practices are comprised of a set of recommendations provided by the CDC and are the “foundation for preventing transmission of infections during patient care in all healthcare settings including hospitals, long-term care facilities, ambulatory care, home care and hospice.” The most recent CDC guideline is the Guideline for Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings, 2007.

One & Only Campaign

One and Only Campaign

Nevada is one of three states participating the pilot stage of the One & Only Campaign, a public health campaign led by the CDC and the Safe Injection Practices Coalition (SIPC). The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness among patients and healthcare providers about safe injection practices. The other two states in the pilot program are New York and New Jersey.

Nevada and New York were two states that have suffered in the past from outbreaks linked to unsafe injection practices.

Once the pilot stage is completed in these three states, the One & Only Campaign will expand to other states and eventually nationwide.

The following quote from a June 14, 2011 News Release from the Nevada State Health Division provides more information about Nevada’s One & Only Campaign:

State Health Officer, Dr. Tracey D. Green said, “What is really great is that materials have already been developed and are available now to assist Nevada’s healthcare professionals to comply with the provisions of the new law.” A free online safe injection practices training module was developed by the Southern Nevada Health District and offers continuing education credits for several different health fields. In addition, through the One and Only Campaign, health professionals and patients have access to free education materials that have been developed to assist with training and increasing knowledge about safe injection practices. The educational materials are available on the One and Only Campaign’s website and may be downloaded or copies ordered online at www.OneandOnlyCampaign.org. The online Safe Injection Practices Training Program can be accessed at www.nevadacme.com.

Resources:

The enrolled version of S.B. 419.

Nevada State Health Division.  News Release.  Governor Signs Senate Bill 419 into Law, Marking the State’s Continued Commitment to Improving Patient Safety.  June 14, 2011. Click to download the Nevada SB419 Press Release.

CDC information about safe injection practices.

CDC’s 2007 Guideline for Isolation Precautions: Preventing Transmission of Infectious Agents in Healthcare Settings.

The Guideline excerpt Safe Injection Practices to Prevent Transmission of Infections to Patients.

The One & Only Campaign Website.

For more information on the materials and to learn more about the Nevada One and Only Safe Injection Campaign visit their web site at www.oneandonlycampaign.org or call the Campaign’s Director at (775) 684-1043.

For more information about the Nevada State Health Division, go to: http://health.nv.gov

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