Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toddler Puts Hands into Pail with Dirty Needles in Saskatchewan Hospital

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Toddler Puts Hands into Pail with Dirty Needles in Saskatchewan Hospital

Article excerpt

Health regions checking used needle rules

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OUTLOOK, Sask. - Petrina Kuzyk wants changes made at a Saskatchewan hospital after she says her toddler put her tiny hands into a garbage pail and got stuck with a dirty needle.

Kuzyk said 19-month-old Janaeya squealed in delight when she discovered the yellow hazardous-waste bucket in the emergency room at the hospital in Outlook, south of Saskatoon, last Friday.

Kuzyk was busy talking with a nurse, who was examining one of her older children. When the toddler shrieked, they all looked down and noticed Janaeya had reached in the pail, which was sitting on the bottom of a cart near the bed.

The child pulled out her hands and was clutching a dirty needle.

"I grabbed it and threw it in the pail, and immediately took her to the sink and was washing her hands," said Kuzyk.

There were small nicks on both of the girl's palms, as well as a scratch and what appeared to be a small puncture mark on her right wrist, she said.

Kuzyk, a former special care aide, said the nurse couldn't explain why the needles were in the garbage.

"She kept saying how much it was bothering her and she didn't understand and didn't know why that pail was there."

The family spent the rest of the day at a hospital in Saskatoon, where Janaeya got the first of several Hepatitis B shots and started a month-long course of drugs to prevent infections, such as HIV.

For the next six months, the tot will have to undergo regular blood tests to determine if she has caught anything.

"I think the chances are slim," Kuzyk said. "But until I have that confirmation that she doesn't have anything, then I'm very worried. Because there's always that chance."

She said the drugs are so far making her daughter sick with diarrhea and the girl doesn't seem to want to eat.

"It's just something that could have been prevented," said Kuzyk, noting she saw a special receptacle for used needles on a wall across the hospital room. …

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