Sports Stars Speak Out Against Short-cuts in Healthcare

By Tyson Rauch

A recent report in a university journal has raised concern about the security risks of shot needle stick injuries. The study found that nurses unknowingly give some patients needles stuck in their body at shockingly high rates. News outlets such as Yahoo News have now reported that world tennis stars such as Andy Murray and Nick Kyrgios in addition to Serena Williams and other prominent sports stars are now speaking out against the ease of modern medicine. Some players point out that it has become easy to simply receive shots and not involve proper medical procedures in order to get the treatment. Andy Murray says that players have a responsibility to protect themselves from the increasing risk of injections.

“We need to get on top of that and all I’m trying to do is get people talking about it. We need to get on top of it, this is where we draw the line. I do believe that there is a responsibility in this,” Murray told reporters. He says that the current status quo where people feel they are just given a shot and doing away with safety precautions is “absolutely ridiculous.” In fact, the anti-injection movement has been growing as people feel that the modern state of healthcare has only created more problems and should be abandoned. Some medical experts warn that by abandoning the existing measures players will simply be putting themselves at greater risk of possible harm. “There’s no reason to risk amputation. It is foolish to get such a high risk when the alternative is nothing,” says Steven C. Dodd, MD, Chief Executive Officer at the International Tennis Federation. “I am disappointed and saddened by this story that occurred among one of our champions.” The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has even released educational videos on the dangers of in-person injections.

One explanation for the unscientific spikes in rates of needle stick injuries is the number of people with a history of drug or alcohol abuse. This includes people who have previously gotten shot in the arm or have a history of drug abuse. The expansion of travel, recreation, and recreational sports has contributed to a larger number of drug users and has led to an increase in needle stick injuries. One of the big challenges facing needle stick injuries is that proper medical procedures are necessary to ensure safe outcomes. A simple infection from the needle can be dangerous because it can make individuals more susceptible to serious infectious diseases like syphilis and HIV. The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that the practice of needle stick injury due to injection drugs is an “urgent public health crisis.” Many doctors have called on governments to take more aggressive action to enact stricter rules around the clinic requirement for needles and to encourage patients to get follow up medical care if they are not feeling well.

In the future, officials want to encourage health care providers to dispense their medications within hours of the patient arriving at the clinic so that the proper time frame for needle stick injuries is not ignored. “I think we can get better on that. I think we can improve the way the administering of injections can be done,” says Dr. Brian Gross, deputy director for the CDC’s injury prevention center. “And I think in addition to all that that we can be a lot more vigilant in the US.” John Glynn, professor of public health at Bowling Green State University, agrees that treating the needle stick injuries issue is a top priority for the United States. “It’s a tremendous problem. There’s not a lot of talk about it and a lot of the doctors and nurses don’t pay attention to it,” he says.

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