Puncture brings needlestick safety to the public eye

By: December 7th, 2011 Email This Post Print This Post

The film Puncture offers a mainstream medium for needlestick safety versus manufacturers and purchasing groups, and is the focus of the December issue of Medical Environment Update.

Here is an excerpt:

Healthcare workers have seen it all when it comes to safety training videos. A throaty narrator gives statistics about workers exposed to dangers if they fail to use safety needles: An estimated 800,000 needlestick injuries occur each year. Workers can be exposed to HBV, HCV, and HIV.

Although these training films routinely make their premiere in healthcare settings, rarely does a motion picture make its way to the big screen, highlighting the issue of needlesticks in the mainstream media.

Puncture, which opened in select cities earlier this fall, does just that, shining a public spotlight on an issue that is generally reserved solely for the eyes of nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals. The legal thriller is loosely based on the true story of two lawyers, Michael Weiss (played by Chris Evans) and Paul Danziger (Mark Kassen), who battle medical manufacturing companies when an emergency room nurse contracts HIV after a needlestick, in an effort to determine why safety needles are not being used in healthcare facilities.

“The arc of the story is representing this event where there is the safety needle, but you can’t distribute it in the majority of the healthcare facilities,” says Danziger, an executive producer of the movie, author of the screenplay, and a partner at Danziger & De Llano in Houston. “And the lawyers discover that the reason for that is there are these large group purchasing organizations [GPO] and they control significant portions—up to $100 billion— of what is purchased each year in U.S. healthcare facilities, and they have certain deals with certain manufacturers in order to get kickbacks.”

Danziger says he wrote the movie for two reasons: to honor a friend, Weiss, who passed away, and to expose these issues that seem to fly under the radar in the mainstream media arena.

“I just wanted to get those issues out so that people can discuss it and talk about it and understand it,” Danziger says.


The feature article also includes sections on:

Also appearing in November issue of Medical Environment Update:

  • Vital stats: Hollywood and healthcare hazards
  • OMG! OSHA gives GHS to OMB, and three tips for a smooth transition
  • Safety officer tip: ‘Tis the season to remind staff about holiday decoration policy rules
  • Self-inspection notes: Don’t get fooled; medical evaluations and fit tests are required for respirators
  • Q&A on hiding a sharps container in an exam room cabinet; declining and then accepting the hepatitis B vaccination; sharps injury log exemption and bloodborne pathogens training
  • A true/false quiz designed to test your understanding of OSHA standards and government regulatory guidelines that apply to healthcare facilities. (Download from the Tools page.)

For information subscribing to Medical Environment Update, click on the links below.

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