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CDC Campaign To Minimize Outpatient Oncology Clinic Infections

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) is concerned enough about a series of recent infections at outpatient oncology clinics, to release a set of guidelines for the prevention of these infections.

Cancer patients are at a high risk of infections because of immunosuppression caused not only by the tumor, but also by the chemotherapy. Patients with cancer are in frequent contact with healthcare settings, and with other patients who may suffer from infections. Therefore, these persons are at a high risk of contracting potentially deadly infections. Infections can be debilitating in cancer patients who are in a weakened state, and lack the physical strength to tolerate infections.

According to the CDC, in recent years, the bulk of cancer treatment has shifted to outpatient oncology clinics and cancer centers. As many as 1 million cancer patients every year are treated in these outpatient centers. Unfortunately, while Atlanta medical malpractice lawyers have found a strong focus on reducing the number of hospital-acquired infections, infection risks in outpatient centers have been ignored. In recent years, there have been a number of infection outbreaks at outpatient oncology clinics. These have been the result of poor hygiene, lack of sterile medical equipment, reuse of needles, reuse of single use vials and a host of other factors.

The CDC recommends the following:
• Establishment of infection prevention programs in occupational settings • Provision of sufficient supplies to ensure compliance with standard precautions • Infection prevention policies that are clearly written down • Deployment of a single individual who has training in infection prevention, to ensure that all personnel are in compliance

The CDC is pointing cancer patients to a new website called preventcancerinfections.org to get information about the infection risks that patients who seek treatment in outpatient centers may face, and what patients can do to avoid these.

Preventing Infections in Cancer Patients is a public health campaign led by theCenters for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the CDC Foundation to raise awareness among patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers about steps they can take to prevent infections during cancer chemotherapy treatment.  The campaign aims to reduce infections in cancer patients.

PreventCancerInfections.org is an evidence-based, interactive online program designed to help assess a cancer patient’s risk for developing both a low white blood cell count during chemotherapy and subsequent infections.

Robert J. Fleming has been handling wrongful death cases, dental malpractice, bus accidents, car accident cases and premises injury cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of another for more than 20 years. He practices in and around the Atlanta, Georgia area including handling lawsuits in Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Gwinnett, Cobb and other counties and nearby cities including Alpharetta, Austell, Avondale Estates, Chamblee, College Park, Conyers, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Hapeville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, and Smyrna. If you have been seriously injured and would like discuss your case in complete confidence, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.