Advertisement
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


Phlebotomy accident: Panicking
Jun 22, 2005

I have been HIV infected for 5 years. Earlier this week, I was made to be a guinea pig for a classmate to practice phlebotomy on. When I tried to refuse, the teacher didn't let me and made a crack about it just being a tiny needle.

The girl practicing on me did a very stupid thing and tried to recap the needle and ended up sticking herself. Needless to say I hyperventilated and had to disclose my status. She took PEP for 3 days before stopping because of the side effects. I couldn't live with myself if I infected anyone. My questions are the following:

1. What are the chances of a shallow needlestick transmitting HIV?

2. Did those 3 days of PEP that she took provide any protection at all?

Thanks.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

One of the most common mishaps resulting in needlestick injuries is "recapping" of syringes and needles. Never recap a used syringe or needle is also one of the first lessons those learning phlebotomy should be taught as part of "universal precautions" to prevent occupational exposure to bloodborne diseases. That said, mistakes, of course, still happen. The risk for HIV transmission following an occupational needlestick exposure from an individual known to be HIV positive is estimated to be .3%. The overall risk would be expected to decrease if:

1. The source patient's HIV viral load was undetectable.

2. The needlestick was shallow.

3. The needle was solid rather than hollow bore.

When an occupational exposure occurs, the patient should be evaluated as quickly as possible by an HIV specialist or HIV-knowledgeable physician to determine if PEP is warranted, and if so, which antivirals should be prescribed.

Regarding your specific situation, the young phlebotomist-in-training should be evaluated by an HIV specialist. Her HIV risk would be assessed and she would get baseline HIV screening. If PEP were deemed advisable, the choice of medications would depend on what medications you have taken previously, your current medications and any known resistance to specific HIV medications.

Would three days of PEP provide any protection? No one knows. The recommended duration for PEP is 28 days.

Dr. Bob



Previous
please read will donate a lot, scared college student 3 Months and scared about symptoms, my story is probably shared by a lot of students out there, giv me the strength to get tested
Next
Relax

  
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

 Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS


 
Advertisement



Q&A TERMS OF USE

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 TheBody.com 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

Advertisement