PAN53: HIV, Needlesticks and the story of Karen Daley, PHD, MPH, RN, FAAN

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“As I got on the elevator that final time, I realized that this was the end of my clinical career.” Karen Daley, RN reflected on what it felt to walk out of the Emergency Room for the last time after an accidental needle stick led to a diagnosis of HIV and Hep C. “I just never thought it would end this way.”

On this episode of the Patient Activation, Karen Daley shares her emotional journey and the work she is doing to help raise awareness for needle stick safety.

About Karen Daley, PHD, MPH, RN, FAAN

Karen Daley, RNKaren Daley is an American nurse, past president of the American Nurses Association, former director of the American Nurses Credentialing Center and an advocate for the prevention of needlestick injury in healthcare. Karen worked as an emergency room nurse for many years until sustaining a needlestick injury on the job in 1998. After drawing blood from a patient, she was stuck by another needle that was wedged in the container as she was trying to dispose of the needle. A few months later, Daley tested positive for HIV and hepatitis C.

Daley has not let her diagnosis keep her down. She encouraged the passage of a bill at the Massachusetts state legislature that requires hospitals to report needlestick injuries to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. For Daley’s work in needlestick injury prevention, she was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing in 2006. Daley has served as director of the American Nurses Credentialing Center and as president of the Massachusetts Association of Registered Nurses (MARN) and the Massachusetts Center for Nursing.

Photo credit: Milton, MA 5/20/17) Curry College commencement speaker Karen Daley photographed at Curry College by Nicolaus Czarnecki

In 2010 and 2012, she was elected to two-year terms as president of the American Nurses Association, where she had previously served on the board of directors. She is on the board of trustees for the American Nurses Foundation. In 2013, she was named to the Modern Healthcare Top 25 Women in Healthcare for 2013.

Episode Details

  • About Karen A. Daley, PHD, MPH, RN, FAAN
  • Being diagnosed with HIV and Hep C
  • Shifting from a clinical focus to raising awareness for needle safety
  • Advice for newly diagnosed HIV and Hep C patients
  • New blood draw technology for safer blood draws
  • Closing thoughts

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4 thoughts on “PAN53: HIV, Needlesticks and the story of Karen Daley, PHD, MPH, RN, FAAN

  1. The problem of accidental needle stick has never being resolved despite the decades of trying. Pharmaceutical Giants are spending Billions of Dollars in R&D and New Product Development Departments and all vainly. Estimated 72% of needle stick injuries are still directly linked to the use of safety engineered sharps. Existing devices are way over-designed, pricey and not user friendly. I am a holder of U.S. Patented disruptive, revolutionary and innovative type of safety engineered sharps, however without financial and marketing means to promote the products to the marketplace. I can hardly comprehend inability of such an immense and lucrative market to be unable to come up with nearly 100% effective, fool proof products and save lives of innocent people as well as ill-fated drug users and addicts.

  2. Needless to say, but only 50% of accidental needle sticks are reported, which cost U.S. annually in excess of $3 Billion. Another huge problem, which has not being resolved for over 25 years by RTI International is a dead-space problem, alias residual volume of medication left in a needle hub, which causes loss of medication and inaccurate patient dosage. In case of Intravenous Drug Users (IDU) in turn it causes a spread of over twenty blood borne pathogens in humans by sharing contaminated needle/syringes amidst drug users.

  3. Same problem with accidental needle stick is present in veterinary medicine. Since medical devices, used on animals are not mandated by FDA, conventional non-safety sharps are used widely. There are forty two blood borne pathogens in animals, which could be transmitted to humans, some of them are lethal. Virtually, there is no animal doctor, who would not experience a needle stick during his/her tenure.

  4. Same situation with needle stick is present in veterinary medicine, where the use of medical devices is not mandated by FDA. There is not a single vet doctor, who would not experience multiple sticks during their professional tenure.

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