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NEEDLE PRICK INJURY
May 7, 2005

I am a health worker & have just pricked myself while drawing blood of a fully blown AIDS patient. Substantial blood was oozing from my finger. I washed my finger squeezed out whatever blood could come out & applied H2O2 to the wound. What needs to be done next? Shall I start anti-retroviral therapy rightaway or wait for my P24 results. Pl. advise.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I would recommend you follow the well established guidelines for an occupational exposure to HIV, which should be available at all medical facilities. An incident report should be filed documenting exactly what happened. Post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) may well be warranted and should be started as soon as possible, and not longer than 72 hours, after an exposure. An HIV specialist should be consulted to fully evaluate your potential risk and, if warranted, help in the choice of antiretroviral medications, taking into account the source patient's medical history.

Good luck! Don't delay.

Dr. Bob



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