Christiana Health Centre’s unsafe practice

A person's hand is being bandaged
A person's hand is being bandaged (Photo credit: RODNAE Productions)

Some outpatients at the Christiana Health Centre are dressing their own wounds at homes after being provided with the materials through the Health Centre.

On November 5, the Jamaica Monitor observed a nurse giving an outpatient wound dressing material so that he could perform his own dressing at home. This was done because the patient in question arrived at the Health Centre outside of the time slot in which dressings were done. The patient did not want to be interviewed.

Another patient of the Health Centre who wishes to remain anonymous in fear of him being denied service, claimed he has been given dressings on multiple occasions to carry home but refused to name the people who he received it from.

“Cah remember the time[s] [I’ve been given dressings] but a good amount a time,” he said.

He added that on past occasions, dressings were given to him when there was an upcoming holiday and as a result, dressings would not be done on that day.

“Like you come today [for example,] and Monday a holiday, dem wi gi you today,” he shared.

The patient outlined how he does his own dressings at home.



“Mi use some warm water wid salt inna it then, mi put on the dressing on it [the wound], put on the gauze dem, and then mi band[age] it with the band[age].”

Although the patient has been given dressings before, he said the people who have given it to him are sometimes reluctant to do it.

“Dem nuh wah lose dem work. Nuff time mi beg dem and dem nuh gi mi…cause dem seh dem nuh wah you trouble your foot,” he said.

The Jamaica Monitor spoke with a nurse who stressed the importance of wounds being dressed by nurses and not patients.

“The aseptic technique [practices and procedures done to prevent wound contamination] is taught to nurses and the patient would not have knowledge of the aseptic technique for safe wound treatment. We call it ‘wound care management’,” the nurse said.

Additionally, the nurse said patients would not have access to the requisite tools for dressing such as forceps and kidney dishes. Proper sanitization is also important.

“[Nurses] have to wear gloves, gowns, masks, caps, covered shoes and the handwashing procedure has to happen between every patient,” the nurse explained.

The nurse added that dressing rooms must be sanitized after each dressing session and if a patient has a contagious condition, the dressing room has to be fumigated. Patients, when doing their own dressings, would not have this level of sanitation.

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