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Stuck with a needle contaminated with Hep C.
Mar 29, 2011

Hi! First of all, let me say that I am not a medical professional so in other posts I was unable to determine if the situation was like mine. With that being said, yesterday, I was stuck in my finger with a needle my dad uses to give himself insulin shots in his belly. (He insists that the nurse told him he could reuse the needle.) It is a sort of pen medication. It poked me enough to draw a big drop of blood. Anyway, my dad has Hepatitis C. I immediately washed my hands and and washed my finger off with alcohol. My primary care physician said it was a "significant" poke and put orders to get lab tests done today (1 day after the stick) and then again in 4-6 weeks. My questions are:

What are the chances of contracting Hep C? I am a relatively healthy, should I have contracted Hep, will I be able to live a relatively normal life?

I am sorry if you have answered this question already but I haven't been able to think clearly. Thanks for your help.

Response from Dr. McGovern

You ask a very good and important question.

Yes, I agree that you need serial testing to see if you have acquired HCV. I would get a HCV RNA and a antibody testing....

If you do acquire HCV, the chance that you could spontaneously clear is high at about 40%.

If you do not clear HCV on your own (within about 12 weeks) the chance that you could clear with treatment is about 85%...

So in the end, you should do extremely well since you are aware of the exposure, can track your labs, can identify acute infection when it happens, and can initiate therapy if needed. Early treatment is extremely successful. All the odds are WITH YOU.

Hope this is helpful.



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