The hang glider next door

Nefarious called me outside earlier today to show me that our neighbours had gotten a new toy and were washing it in the laneway. It’s dark out so the picture doesn’t really show how terrifying this hang glider is… I would be so scared to fly it. The only person I know that hang glides is Blair (as in the scarification artist) but I don’t think he’s done it for a decade…


I mentioned in the previous entry that when I was at the hospital last I was disturbed that the hyfrecator tool was covered in blood. The doctor blamed this on the residents who do a poor job (it’s not the first time I’ve seen stray blood at this particular hospital), but I wanted to mention that it bothered me that their clean tools are kept in a bin that pretty much overlaps with their overflowing container of dirty tools. It’s my feeling that the two — contaminated tools and clean/sterile tools — need to be kept completely separate and everything possible should be done to minimize the risk of cross contamination…

Is this going to cause a problem? Probably not, but it easily could, and really, it just reeks of low standards and a sloppy thought process. It bothers me to no end that tattoo studios and to a lesser extent estheticians’ studios are beaten to death with high standards in these areas, but that hospitals, doctors, and dentists — who should know better by virtue of their educations — don’t seem to give a damn.


The paranoid or conspiracy minded would suggest that the sicker the public gets, the more money doctors get. The realists would say that a critical mass of medical staff are lazy, ignorant, and have low standards about how they do their jobs…


  1. stephanie wrote:

    Oh man that’s disturbing! I have several friends who work in the medical field and have heard some gruesome stories. However this to me is simply un-acceptable! I like yourself have some “un-determined” medical issues if you will for lack of a better term. While getting blood work done, the technical looked perturbed when I asked her to put gloves on, which may I add were in abundance on a shelf right next to her.
    I HATE, and I do mean HATE germs and the thought of something nasty contaminating my body because of something so incompetent.

    Friday, July 31, 2009 at 6:41 pm | Permalink
  2. Twwly wrote:

    You should start a website for people to submit pictures and stories just like that.

    I for one hate going to the dentist. Not because I am afraid but because I have yet to find one I trust NOT to give me hepatitis. And my cross contam hospital stories are off the hook….

    Friday, July 31, 2009 at 7:05 pm | Permalink
  3. Jamie wrote:

    Still ewwwwwwwww. And that’s waaaaay to close to “sterile” instruments. I showed this to my Mom…who’s a Critial Care Clinitian…and she was outraged. Honestly..she was pissed off! LOL.

    Friday, July 31, 2009 at 7:13 pm | Permalink
  4. Mars wrote:

    Uhhh… I work at a Vet’s office, and the “clean” tools are kept in the autoclave packs, just like any good tattoo/piercing studio! We keep things that don’t come in contact with the animal in containers like the one above. Plus dirty tools are placed directly into cleaning solution or an autoclave bin next to the autoclave! That is incredibly unexceptable!

    On a side note, I will never forget the look on the dental hygentists face, as I once reared back in disgust as she came at me with some tools that I KNEW hadn’t been autoclaved, while asking if they had. I’m not sure why more medical professionals aren’t taught the importance of cross contamination! Plus too few seem to understand that exam gloves are more for the protection of the PATIENT than the examiner!

    Friday, July 31, 2009 at 7:42 pm | Permalink
  5. Pademelon wrote:

    That’s totally ridiculous. I hate the bias against tattoo/piercing shops as though hospitals are somehow perfectly clean. I sometimes hear stuff like that when fairly ignorant people without mods ask me about my tattoos and piercings (ie “aren’t you afraid you’re going to catch hepatitis?”). On the one hand, I guess I’d rather have them ask and learn why that’s silly if you have basic common sense but, on the other, their tone tends to be a little offensive.

    I’ve got an auto-immune condition so I get sick a lot. Because I’m a uni student, if being sick interferes with my studies (which it does a lot), I’m required to get a doctor’s note, which is fair enough. But occasionally there are gaps or I don’t have a note for something (and the 30 notes plus the 5 letters from my doctors stating I have an auto-immune condition I have on file apparently don’t get me any leeway) and it’s always a problem. I’ve had to explain to school officials and even some of my biology professors that, as an auto-immune patient, regardless of how sick I am when I go in, sitting in a clinic’s waiting room for 30 mins. makes me sick! So sometimes NOT getting a note is actually better for my health. I’m always upfront about it so it’s not like this is new or I act like I’m trying to hide not getting a note.

    I don’t know if it’s like this everywhere but do the doctors you encounter switch gloves like they should? I know if I go get tattooed, the artist will change gloves any time they come into contact with something not sterile (or rather not previously sterilized or well-cleaned, since the air isn’t sterile technically). But I’ve only come across a few doctors and nurses who are good about it. I had blood taken once and there was a problem with another patient having blood drawn and the nurse tending me ran off to help and came back to take my blood with the other patients blood on her gloves! She was taken aback when I insisted she change them and called me squeamish (which I’m most certainly am not).

    Friday, July 31, 2009 at 8:38 pm | Permalink
  6. ed wrote:

    I agree with Twwly that there should be a website to show all the horrors of the unclean devices that they want to use on patients. My opinion is that the reason these things can be found — is pure laziness on someone’s part.
    Maybe they figure they have found a short cut — but in reality they have found a way to cause a disaster.
    A website to expose these things would be great, however, I can only imagine how much legality would be involved with it — since the hospitals would be screaming bloody murder (and using their lawyers) to halt such a site on the grounds that it would show them in a bad light.
    What’s funny is that the mod’d community professionals attempts to do (and achieve) a higher level of cleanliness than a hospital. Modders know more about keeping things clean than the average person too (kudos for that! ). (just remember – information/knowlege is power :) )

    Saturday, August 1, 2009 at 7:49 am | Permalink
  7. Suppe wrote:

    Beyond scary..

    And unfortunately stuff like that is perfectly normal in many hospitals and doctor’s offices.
    My own knowledge of hygienic issues is really basic, and it creeps me out when even I find things to complain about whenever I am at the doctor’s!

    Makes that “only doctors should pierce” thing even more senseless.

    Saturday, August 1, 2009 at 8:35 pm | Permalink
  8. Warren wrote:

    definitely slow standards and sloppy thought process. Just takes one slip of the hand and the “clean” side is contaminated.

    Definitely agree with everyone saying a website with these types of pictures, is needed.

    PS: Mars, on the safe side, you should not have contaminated tools in a solution or bin right next to your autoclave. Think in a process of left to right or right to left, from dirty to clean/clean to dirty.

    Stuff like all this makes me excited and scared for the news of if I get accepted to the Sterile Supply Processing course that I want to take at college.

    Sunday, August 2, 2009 at 5:51 am | Permalink
  9. Camille wrote:

    *delurking* I’m a medical student and while I find the pictures you put up really gross, I feel that I have to defend my future profession a little bit. While still gross, the scissors in the “clean” bin are just that – “clean”. Not sterile, just clean. So they should not be used in a situation where sterile scissors should be used. Sterile stuff only comes in wrapped packages. We are taught at great lengths about the importance of not cross contaminating at school as well as to wash our hands before AND after every patient encounter to protect the patient. That being said, certain doctors seem to think they are above sickness somehow and act irresponsibly. But really, all you have to do is look at how intensively surgeons scrub in to surgeries to see that cleanliness is clearly a top priority.

    I have a question now, since I don’t know that much about the actual process of tattooing : do tattoo artists use sterile gloves while performing a tattoo? And if not, how come?

    I hope you all have a bit more confidence in the medical system… I know its not perfect, but I’m working 10+ hours a day with residents working 12+ hours a day who really truly do care a lot about everyone’s health!

    Monday, August 3, 2009 at 4:00 am | Permalink
  10. Kathryn wrote:

    I have a severe intolerance to alcohol (according to an allergist, you cannot be ‘allergic’ to alcohol, but I’d sure like to make a case about it) when I come into contact with rubbing alcohol or anything similar, I break out in a rash and have difficulty breathing/speaking. (think about that, anything with alcohol in it and I almost die – fabric softener, perfumes, colognes, hair spray, conditioner, dish detergent, and the best one of all, hand sanitizer) I went into a local shop to get pierced, and had options to have my skin cleaned. The piercer barely even stopped to wonder what to do, and already had my lip ready.
    I went to the hospital less than a month later because of an unrelated allergic reaction and was treated like I had three heads for not being able to use their alcohol wipes to clean my arm for an IV. They ended up using Saline to ‘clean’ it.
    On another hospital visit where I had to re-specify not to use alcohol around me, I had a nurse clean my thigh with an alcohol wipe. When I reminded her about my allergy she started wiping it off with a tissue. I had to tell her to get soap and water to TRY to minimize the effect. She got the hand soapy paper towel, blotted my thigh, didn’t wipe the soap away, and stuck me with the needle. I fell off the gurney I was in so much pain… but she’d already walked away from me at that point and didn’t turn around. Nice, eh?

    tatt/piercing shops 1
    hospitals -1

    Monday, August 3, 2009 at 11:41 pm | Permalink
  11. Tiffany wrote:

    You think that’s bad? You should see some of the truely horrifying things I’ve seen in vets offices. Yikes. Ever seen a severed leg laying in a sink for 7 hours? How about pills stored on a very dusty windowsill in full sunlight in just plastic baggies? Meds that say ‘must refergerate’ on them sitting on a counter all day and then dispensed…

    Wednesday, August 5, 2009 at 9:56 pm | Permalink
Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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