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Scrub nurse cut by surgical tool
Jun 7, 2006

I work as a scrub nurse in an operating room. The only procedure performed is cataract eye surgery. I was just nicked by a surgical tool that had been used on an 87 year old female (HIV status unknown-as far as I know). What are the chances of transmission from a tool that had been used only on the eye approximately 10 minutes prior to the injury? What is the likelihood of transmission of HIV from this age group? Thanks so much

Response from Dr. Young

Thanks for your post.

I would estimate that your risk is pretty low-- most 87 year olds don't have HIV, though it's fair to say that HIV can and does affect persons of most age deciles.

The 10 minute window doesn't significantly affect (or diminish) the risk of transmission, though the depth of the wound that you've sustained can.

Whenever in doubt following an occupational exposure, I'd contact your workman's health office for appropriate follow up.

Best of health, BY



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