Solving a mystery
Patricia Metcalf Jackson, RN, BSN, CIC
Methodist Medical Center
Patricia Metcalf Jackson, RN, BSN, CIC, discovery of gram-negative bacteria within her hospital, zeroed in on a sublingual pH probe manufactured Mexico. She and her staff also participated in an outbreak investigation surrounding contaminated distilled water used in extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO).
“We knew we shouldn’t have seen these unusual Gram-negative organisms,” Metcalf said while reflecting on the 2004 product recall. “It took a while to conduct the environmental culturing and interview staff, but we found the contaminated probe and reported it to the FDA, which then investigated the product and recalled it.”
It turned out that the probe was packed in contaminated saline.
“Discovering this was great because we contributed to the safety of pediatric patients throughout the country, not just in our own institution. Working in a pediatric environment is vastly different than working in an adult institution,” she said. “Children are often more vulnerable to infection, and the prevention strategies are not the same.”
Metcalf Jackson has worked in infection prevention and epidemiology since 1996, is active in her local APIC chapter, and has volunteered in various capacities on several of APIC’s national committees and councils. Her passion for education led her to serve as an instructor in educational programs.
Her contributions to the field of pediatric infection prevention and control, and her advocacy for pediatric patient safety, have made her a role model for her colleagues and APIC chapter members.