The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Safe Sex and HIV PreventionSafe Sex and HIV Prevention
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
Recent AnswersAsk a Question
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

suture needle stick

Dec 1, 2003

Dr. Bob, I'm a 3rd year med student; about 1 month ago I was suturing an arm laceration (with 3-0 ethilon) on a trauma patient and stuck my finger with the suture needle through my glove. I washed with soap/water, betadine, alcohol - but I did bleed. Patient was HIV Negative per Ora Quick test in ER. I stupidly failed to report the stick and never got PEP. I have been in denial for the past month but now that has ended. I have had no prodrome symptoms. My baseline status is HIV negative, my last test was 6 years ago and I have not engaged in any activity to change that status. I understand my risk is virtually 0, but I will follow up with an HIV test in 3 months. I was planning on taking the home access test, is that sufficient? Is there another or different test I need? Thank you

Response from Dr. Frascino


If you indeed "understand my risk is virtually 0," why are you wondering about additional testing?

Suture needles are solid and therefore less likely to transmit blood-borne pathogens. That the patient was HIV-negative per OraQuick in the ER further decreases any potential risk. You've had no ARS symptoms.

So what should you do? First of all, report the incident! All ER's have protocols for occupational exposures and screening for blood-borne pathogens. Hepatitis is a bigger risk for you than HIV. Follow the protocol. These guidelines were developed to protect you and ensure appropriate evaluation. You can still report the incident, even though it occurred a month ago. That's the best advice I can give you.

Good luck and welcome to your clinical years of training!

Dr. Bob

Please answer ASAP, About My Infant
Mutual Masturbation by rubbing penis against my penis

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint