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Risk of Aids infection!!
Dec 20, 2012

Hello doctor. I am facing a situation here which i am not really sure if i have to worry about it or not. I am a dentistry student and this morning i was having a practical at maxillofacial surgery. I had to extraxt a tooth on a 22 year old patient who had infective endocarditis and was a drug user some time before. So, i thought there might be a chance of Aids infection to him, but still i was not 100% sure about it. As i was applying the stitches to the oral cavity and my gloves where covered with blood, etc i accidentally slightly punctured my finger with the needle used for the stitches. What is the possibility of being infected with HIV (Aidds) in this case? Please let me know. I am very concerned and worried about this. Thank you in advance.

Response from Dr. Hightow-Weidman

Hello there- Certainly the risk you describe constitutes a needlestick which would indeed put you at risk for acquiring HIV. I would certainly be concerned about the possibility that the patient in question could be infected with either HIV and or Hepatitis C if indeed he/she had a previous injection drug history. I would suggest immediate referral to your employee health for consideration of post-exposure prophylaxis as well as possible testing of the patient for HIV, Hep B and C. Take care, LHW



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