It's an unfortunate incident for the Pain Institute of North Florida. The Leon County Health Department's recent investigation claims that a few improper procedures led to some very serious complications. The conclusion from more than a month long investigation stated that 10 patients at the Pain Institute of North Florida required surgery from an outbreak of staph. Another 28 sought care at an emergency room or with their doctor.
Homer Rice, with the Leon County Health Department said, "In this particular case, we had over 90 people potentially exposed during that month of march. That meant that we had to do a lot of calling."
The Health Department had to set up an incident command to deal with what they called a very serious threat. In their report it says the outbreak appears to be related to poor infection control and medication handling procedures. It also says single dose vials were used more than once, which contributed to staph growth.
The Health Department said Staphylococcus is everywhere and can be easily contracted when it is not sterylized. We spoke with Jennifer Womble and she says her sons received staph doing normal activities. "Simply falling in the driveway or swimming in the pool or being in any public place that has lots of germs and lots of access. Anybody can contract any form of staph if it's available." said Womble. She was once told that her sons could have died from staph.
For the Pain Clinic, it was not a case of MRSA and no one died, but the Health Department says it shows how vital it is maintain perfect hygiene.
A statement from the Pain Institute of North Florida says its facility's 20 year record without a single adverse incident points to another cause for the contamination. It also mentioned the well-being of their patients is first and foremost in their practice.