GRAFENWÖHR, Germany —
An improper blood draw technique at our Soldier Medical Readiness Center (SMRC) may have exposed soldiers to the risk of blood-borne infection.
During a unit’s Soldier Readiness Processing (SRP) Feb. 11, 2020, the SMRC began to run low of its supply of single-use vacutainer adapter shield during lab draw. A medical staff member instructed the medics on hand to reuse adapter shields – a single use device used to stabilize the blood collection tube. Once the incident was identified, all lab draws were halted and the reusing of the adapter shields ceased.
While the risk to the soldiers is considered low, there is a small possibility soldiers in which the single-used adapters were reused may have been exposed to the blood of another soldier. Soldiers impacted by the blood draws have been made aware of the situation and precautionary measures are currently being taken to ensure their health and well-being.
Regional Health Command Europe is looking very closely at this incident and is using this as an opportunity to improve changes in procedural guidance and processes across all of its military treatment facilities in Europe, to ensure we are doing all we can to provide safe, quality medical care to our patients.
Any soldier or family member having questions should contact their local community health nurse. Contact the U.S. Army Health Clinic Grafenwoehr at commercial 06371-9464-3085, DSN: 314-590-3085; or the U.S. Army Health Clinic Vilseck at commercial 06371-9464-2556, DSN: 314-590-2556.