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UNIV OF CINTI NEEDLE STICK
Jul 2, 2006

Knowing that this is your Alma Mater I out UC in the title, lol. Anyway, had an incendent the other day where I gave a man with Neurofibromatosis an injection with a 23 gauge butterfly needle. Ask I went to stick him, the needle had slipped out of the vein and rubbed up against my glove. Well, I was scared as hell that the needle had went through my glove because i felt it. There was blood on the glove so I was sure it had pricked me. I took my gloves off and didn't notice any sign of blood on my actualy finger. It did look like a piece of skin was loose but I didn't see any sign of blood that would occur from a needle stick. Now my question is, if I had stuck myself with the needle, would I have seen blood when I pulled off my glove. I looked at the guys paper work and it didn't say anything about having HIV but that doesn't mean anything. 4 days later after the incendent I had major flu-like symptoms. So I was wondering if maybe this guy did have HIV and that the needle stick is what caused the flu like illness?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Cincinnati-Guy,

All occupational exposures, or potential occupational exposures, to blood-borne illnesses should be reported on an incident (not "incendent," by the way) report to the occupational medicine folks. There are policies and procedures in place at all medical institutions for documenting what happened and for evaluating the potential risk for HIV and hepatitis. Even though it is after the fact, I would still recommend you complete this process so that any follow-up testing or monitoring can be done as indicated.

Generally speaking, if you actually prick your finger, you definitely feel it (and often yell "ouch" or "shit" or some other explicative). You didn't notice any sign of blood on your "actualy" finger. Usually a significant puncture will bleed. Overall, from the details you have provided, I strongly doubt you sustained a significant exposure; however, I would still report the incident to the occupational medicine folks, OK?

Good luck. Give my regards to UC!

Dr. Bob



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