Tuesday, 09 August 2011 11:11

Unapproved piercing operation closed; clients require testing

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Courtesy Alberta Health Services
Following the closure of the unapproved Victor Proctor piercing operation, located within the Tommy Gun Tattoo shop, in Crowsnest Pass, Alberta Health Services (AHS) is advising all individuals who received piercings from this operator be tested for viruses that can be spread through unsanitary piercing procedures.

Please note: this advisory does NOT apply to tattoo services provided by Tommy Gun Tattoos.  Tommy Gun Tattoos has been inspected and approved to provide tattoo services. This advisory applies strictly to the unapproved independently run Victor Proctor piercing operation, co-located within the Tommy Gun parlour.
“The Victor Proctor piercing operation did not have proper sterilization processes in place, meaning individuals who received piercings through this operation may have been exposed to viruses such as Hepatitis B and C, and HIV,” says Dr. Vivien Suttorp, Medical Officer of Health, AHS South Zone.
“To prevent the spread of infection from one person to another, equipment used in piercing, and other procedures where the skin is broken, must be cleaned, disinfected, and sterilized according to health standards, or be a single-use item.”
Simple blood tests can determine whether an individual has been infected. Anyone who received piercings from the Victor Proctor piercing operation, located within Tommy Gun Tattoo shop (Crowsnest Pass), should contact Alberta Health Services at 403-380-6664 to arrange for testing.
AHS public health officials became aware of the Victor Proctor piercing operation during a routine AHS inspection of the Tommy Gun Tattoo shop.
To confirm that any tattoo, piercing, or related operation, is inspected and approved, call AHS Environmental Public Health at 403-388-6690.

All closure orders issued by AHS are posted:  HYPERLINK "http://mail.calgaryhealthregion.ca/owa/redir.aspx?C=8df9fed9ac094775a5daade0ed1b91fb&URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.albertahealthservices.ca%2f3150.asp" \t "_blank" http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/3150.asp
(click on “South” to see those in the South Zone). People are also encouraged to ask any piercing or tattoo operation for a copy of the facility’s most recent Health Inspection Report. 
See the attached Backgrounder for further advice on selecting a safe piercing/tattooing facility. 
For general health information about tattoos and piercings, call HealthLink Alberta at 1-866-408-LINK (5465).


Important questions when getting a tattoo or piercing:
Is the tattooing or piercing area separate from all dining, washroom, kitchen, lounge or sleeping areas?
Is the location clean and in good repair, with smooth washable equipment and surfaces?
Does the operator only use single-use, disposable equipment?
Does the operator have suitable equipment for sterilization, including an autoclave for reusable items?
Is the equipment wrapped in plastic, and is the plastic changed after every client?
Does the operator use proper containers for the safe disposal of needles?
Are all linens changed after every client?
Does the operator wash hands thoroughly with soap and water at a separate hand washing sink before and after each client?
Does the operator wear disposable gloves that are changed between every client?
Does the operator wear clean clothing?
Does the operator refrain from smoking, drinking and eating while tattooing or piercing?
Did you sign a consent form prior to tattooing or piercing?
Did you receive written and verbal instructions regarding the care of your tattoo?
Did you provide your contact information to the operator for their records?
Can the piercing or tattoo operator provide you with a copy of their most recent Health Inspection Report?

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