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Hep C Splash to the Eye
Oct 24, 2010

Dr. McGovern, Thank you for all your work on this site. I have a question for you: About a week and a half ago I was covering an arthroscopic shoulder surgery (I'm a sales rep) with a surgeon. At the end of the case, he went to degown and remove his gloves. Some fluid (blood and/or arthroscopic fluid) flew off his glove and hit me in the eye. The patient was Hep C positive. I have gone through all the testing through the employee health department but was wondering two things: 1) What are my chances of contracting Hep C through the eye like this? 2) Will the Hep C PCR (RNA) test I received 10 days after the incident be accurate?

Thanks so much for your help.

Response from Dr. McGovern

Your chances are extremely low via an eye exposure. Next time I would wear goggles yourself.

As for HCV RNA testing, the CDC states that HCV RNA can be detected as soon as 2 to 3 weeks after exposure. 10 days is probably fine as well. I think you can either get repeat HCV RNA testing again a bit later or get an HCV Ab at 12 weeks and be done with testing.



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