PLEASE HELP ME, I AM PREGNANT.
Dec 20, 2000
I SUSTAINED A NEEDLESTICK INJURY 3 WEEKS AGO ON AN HIV PATIENT THAT WAS SEVERELY ILL. I STARTED A NEW SALINE LOCK TO GIVE HIM ATIVAN FOR SEDATION. AFTER ACESSING THE VEIN AND SEEING A SMALL BLOOD RETURN, I FLUSHED THE SALINE LOCK WITH 2CC'S OF NORMAL SALINE, I THEN GAVE HIM THE ATIVAN AND FLUSHED THE LINE AGAIN. WHILE PUTTING THE NEDDLES IN THE SHARPS COMNTAINER I WAS STUCK WITH THE ATIVAN NEEDLE. ALTHOUGH I WAS WEARING GLOVES AND THERE WAS NO BLOOD IN THE NEEDLE OR THE NEW SALINE LOCK DEVICE I STARTED I AM STILL TERRIFIED. I BEGAN PROPHYLAXIS THERAPY FOR 3 DAYS BUT I WAS UNABLE TO WORK BECAUSE THE COMBINATION THERAPY WAS SEVERELY DEBILITATING. I AM A WIFE AND MOTHER AND I AM PREGNANT WITH MY SECOND CHILD. I HAVE DECIDED NOT TO TAKE THE MEDICATIONS BECAUSE OF THE SIDE EFFECTS I WAS EXPERIENCING. PLEASE TELL ME WHAT ARE MY CHANCES OF BECOMING SEROPOSITIVE.
ALTHOUGH I HAVE SPOKEN WITH MANY NURSES WHO WERE STUCK WITH COMTAMINATED NEEDLES AND NEVER CONVERTED, ALSO WITH AN INFECTIOUS DISEASE DOCTOR WHO SAID MY CHANCES ARE LOW, I AM STILL TERRIFIED. I DON'T WANT TO DIE AND LEAVE MY FAMILY. PLEASE HELP ME.
Response from Dr. Dieterich
The chances are exceedingly low approaching zero, and even lower since you took some prophylaxis. There does not sound like there was even a blood exposure just the ativan needle. I can certainly understand your anguish, but I think you should relax and enjoy the holidays, this will soon be behind you! Stay well. DTD
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