A North End resident was pricked by a needle this week while volunteering to clean up the area around the bocce courts at Langone Park. He was treated at Mass. General Hospital and will have be tested for HIV/HEPC and other illnesses in a few weeks.
The incident comes as the Boston City Council discussed on Wednesday the increasing number of needles in neighborhood parks. City Councilor Sal LaMattina brought up the North End case as the most recent example of the problem.
Pharmacies have been recently permitted to sell needles in an effort to prevent substance users from transmitting illnesses through shared needles. However, this has led to a proliferation of needles through the city parks. The city’s needle team have recovered over 5,000 needles this year.
If you find a needles in a public space, call 311 to have the city’s needle team respond to the location.
Mary Wright, RN, Health Educator at North End Waterfront Health shares these needle awareness safety tips and the steps you should take if you see a need or get stuck by one.
What to do if you find a dirty needle:
- Stop. Do not go further into the park.
- Don’t touch the needle.
- Tell an adult if you are a child.
- Call 311.
If you are accidentally stuck by a dirty needle:
- Wash the area.
- Seek immediate medical attention.