Faulty Design Created Inherent Risk – Part 6

Jet Injectors = Jet Infectors

January 23, 2016

To conclude this series, Darlow was seeking epidemiological cases of viral hepatitis as a means of assessing whether jet injectors actually transmitted blood-borne diseases. Due to extenuating circumstances that are unique to the hepatitis C virus a lack of epidemiological cases would be expected during Darlow’s time. For instance, hepatitis C was not even identified as a disease. During the 1970s researchers speculated there was another strain of hepatitis and referred to it as non-A, non-B hepatitis, but otherwise hepatitis C would not be identified until 1989.

Second, during the onset of infection hepatitis C is most often asymptomatic, meaning there are no observable signs or symptoms. Those infected that do experience symptoms of decreased appetite, fatigue, nausea, muscle or joint pains, and weight loss would not think to attribute these general symptoms to the unknown and unidentified hepatitis C virus; especially within a military population that is subjugated to rigorous exercise and harsh conditions. Symptoms within a military population would have been, and in fact were, misdiagnosed or unreported. Soldiers were told to “toughen-up” rather than seeking an infirmary. Therefore military medical records are most often negative for any signs or symptoms of hepatitis C.

Chronic symptoms of hepatitis C do not appear for ten- to twenty-years later. Fast forwarding ten- to twenty-years and what do we observe amongst our now veteran population? Numerous diagnoses of hepatitis C, non-A, non-B hepatitis, and hepatic abnormalities. The epidemiological cases that Darlow sought have now emerged.

Fast forward another twenty-years and over 100 cases have recognized a jet injector as a probable source of a veterans hepatitis C infection. 53 cases solely recognized the jet injector was the veterans’ only risk factor for hepatitis C. Meanwhile, hundreds of veteran-claimant cases are still working their way through the court and adjudication process and hundreds of other cases have been nefariously and wrongfully denied. (See my post, A Twenty-One Year Assessment of the Nexuses Between Jet Injectors and Blood-Borne Pathogens Via Veteran Affairs Court Cases).
Moreover, a tactic admission by jet injector manufacturers emerges. In an old news article, Linda D’ Antonio, spokeswoman for the now defunct Association of Needle-Free Injection Manufacturers, stated “With the older style jet-injection devices, it was possible for blood to be drawn back into the nozzle…that blood then could be passed to the next person” (Snowbeck, 2001). Here an industry trade association made-up of 19 jet injector manufacturers, whose aim was to “promote understanding and advancement of needle-free injection technology, provide news and communication, and represent the industry to regulatory and technical standards organizations and the public” (CDC, 2006) admits to inherent design faults that permitted the transmission of blood and blood-borne pathogens between subsequent recipients.
Unequivocally, jet injectors widely-used within the United States armed forces transmitted hepatitis C.
The proof of the pudding is, in fact, in the eating.

References:

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