CT Center for Patient Safety Newsletter
October 5, 2009
In This Issue
How clean is your soap?
CTCPS in our nation's capitol
Illegal Marketing of Zyprexaa

How clean is your soap?
Strange question but clearly one that interests us.  Journalist Daniel Engber did some research.  How clean is the soap in a public bathroom?  Is it self cleaning since it is soap?
Well, it is dirty!  But that does not mean it is a health hazard.  According to a series of tests, bars of soap are often covered with bacteria and carry a higher load of germs than you would find inside a liquid dispenser.  Clinical evidence suggests that "dirty" soap isn't bad. Bacteria would just wash off your hands when you rinsed.  And it is not even clear that you need clean water to get the benefits of hand washing.  Recent hand-hygiene studies in the developing world have found that washing with soap and water reduced infections even when the water supply might be contaminated.  Dirty water, like dirty soap might not make washing less effective.
Washing with soap and water has been repeatedly shown to prevent the spread of illness.  According to the Centers for disease control and Prevention, hand-washing remains an important method of staving off infections and disease.

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Dear member and supporter,
 We are all too familiar with the white coat marches in Hartford.  For three years they gathered to demand tort reform  They are now back - but in Washington D. C.  Holding signs that said "Would you Want your Government Holding the Knife?, they said they were representing patients.  I beg to differ.  We represent patients - injured patients and we want a government that demands quality of care and provides the regulatory structures that will provide transparency and accountability.
This time around, there are many physicians who are on our side.  But trade associations are leading very focused Congressional lobbying efforts.  It is now time for you to speak up.  The decisions effecting your health care options are being debated now.
Put the Patient First!  Demand efforts to improve quality and transparency.  Protect our constitutional right to our court system.
Call today
Senator Dodd 202-224-2823
Senator Lieberman  202-224-4014
John Larsen 202-225-2265
Joe Courtney  202-225-2076
Rosa DeLauro  202-225-3661
Jime Himes 202-225-5541
Chris Murphy 202-225-4476
We have a strong congressional delegation. Senator Lieberman, however, supports health courts and has "concerns" about protecting the pharmaceutical industry and the insurance industry.  We want hin to be concerned about us!
Be sure to thank Dodd, Larsen, Courtney, DeLauro, Himes and Murphy for their efforts. 
Last week we took our message to our nation's capitol.  Malpractice is not about lawyers and doctors.  It is about malpractice - the medical negligence that has so profoundly impacted many of our lives.  Thank you to the Ball Family, Herman Cole, Susan Manganello, Brian Reich and Bill Tyra -for their willingness to share their stories with our Congressional delegation.  I watched as they listened and built on each other's strengths and experiences.  It was moving testimony to the 98,000 lives lost each year to negligence.  And that does not even address the preventable harm from healthcare acquired infections, medication error, that can be incredibly devastating.  The anesthesiologist who was responsible for putting Herman's wife, Sadie into a permanent vegetative state (three times he had been to a drug rehab program for dependency on the substance that he used to anesthesize his patients) continued to practice until he put Mia House into a vegetative state.  Mia and Sadie are now in rooms next to each other while their children grow up without their mothers.  And those two stories are not even counted in the 98,000 preventable deaths. 
Illegal Marketing of Zyprexa
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal annoucned a $3.5 million agreement with drug maker Eli Lilly for marketing its antipsychotic drug Zyprexa for unapproved uses and for conceling the drug's serious side effects, for more than a decade.
This has to be the year we pass meaningful legislation that will stop these practices.  The profits are just too great for the industry to do this on their own.  Their promises are empty.  Their voluntary code is clearly not working.