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pathology resident
Sep 2, 2004

Hi Dr Frascino, I would like to start by thanking you for all your efforts. I am a pathology resident who was nervously observing an autopsy on an HIV + individual and the guy performing the autopsy threw an organ carelessly into a bucket next to him ( where he is dumping the organs he dissected)and causing a splash and I felt a minute amount of fluid hit my forearm although I was 1.5-2 meters away. I had no open wounds at that time that is why I wasn't concerned at the begining but 5-10 minutes later I said "you know what there might be HIV positive blood on your forearm" so I went and washed my arm and I didn't pay attention as to if there was blood on it or not ( at least there was no large visible blood stain) My question to you is did my delay in washing my arm put me at risk. Thank you for your help.

Path resident

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi Path resident,

No, there is no HIV risk from the incident you describe potentially infected fluids coming into contact with intact skin. I'm a bit surprised you didn't learn a bit more about HIV transmission while in medical school. You might want to brush up on those chapters to avoid unnecessary worries as you proceed with your residency.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob


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