Nov 30, 2006
I am a Nurse, and yesterday at work I was helping a fellow RN with a patient who has AIDS. My fellow RN was attempting to give medications via a dobhoff tube when the medications sprayed out onto both of us. I was hit in the face and not wearing any type of eye wear. There was nothing else in the dobhoff tube feeds were off and it was a new syringe holding the medications. I went to the employee health center where they started me on Combivir. Is all this necessary? It wasnt blood? And now my boyfriend is freaked til no end because i have to go for test for the whole next yr. any suggestions?
Response from Dr. Frascino
It sounds to me like your employee health center is being way too aggressive in recommending PEP for such a non-exposure! I suggest you insist on seeing an HIV specialist to better document your degree of risk and what course of follow-up you should have. Chances are excellent he will stop your PEP and, hopefully, do some follow-up remedial education with the employee health center that inappropriately recommended the therapy in the first place. Also, recommendations that you have follow-up tests for a year are not supported by the published guidelines for occupational exposures and PEP. Six months would be the maximum, assuming you had a legitimate exposure, which, from what you've told me, you did not! Once again your employee health center should revisit its policy and procedures for occupational exposures! Have them review the "Updated U.S. Public Health Service Guidelines for Management of Occupational Exposures to HIV and Recommendations for Post-Exposure Prophylaxis." The document can be downloaded at http/www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5409a1.htm. It may well reassure your boyfriend as well.
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