HCV Needle exposure at work
Jul 7, 2010
I work in the lab and was setting up a positive blood culture. When I pulled the needle we use for this out of the bottle it poked through my glove and I didn't realize it had knicked the skin as well. I finished my micro setups and washed my hands and and then realized the skin had been broken. I started an incident report for an employee exposure and found the patient is a know HCV positive patient. I will be tested, but I am curious as to how likely it is I could become infected based on the way it happened?
Response from Dr. McGovern
If you didn't see blood from your injury, I would suspect your risk is very low.
I agree that you need to report the incident and to follow through on testing for your own protection. On the small chance that HCV RNA is detected, you should continue to have follow up to see if you clear on your own before undertaking treatment.
The decision to treat acute HCV can be made over about 8 to 10 weeks. Treatment is extremely successful in most cases. You can see our papers on diagnosis and treatment of acute HCV in Clinical Infectious Diseases and Journal of Infectious Diseases.
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