|Spalsh into eye
Jan 14, 2007
"am a dental student working in a community clinic, today I performed a scaling and root planning on a HIV+ patient; during the procedure I was not aware of her HIV status (stupid me not to check!). When I was scaling, a lot of blood was all over the gingiva, and so I sprayed the the water+ air into her mouth while suctioning with high speed. Somehow spashes of "fluid" bounces out and some hit near or maybe into eye and some probably hit my eyelash (I remember I blinked to avoid the water...and I don't know how the heck the water got thru my loupe...
I did not feel anything go into my eye and I just kept working.
After the patient left, when I was writing my tx note and I found out her HIV+ status and I became a little freak out.
logically, I don't think I need to be concerned because
1. I am not sure it even went into my eye. 2. I am quite certain that the fluid that hit my eye region are not totally blood, actually mostly should be the water from the water spray ( i think the high viscosity and density of blood would not bounce that far to my face, my face was pretty far from her....it would first be suctioned from my high speed vacuum. But again, some of the water might have some virus in it since it contacted the person's blood. 3. If the fluid went into my eye, i didn't even feel it, I was certain that it didn't go into my eye, i just feel the splash to my face. it must be in very very low concentration.
I decided not to go thru the PEP regiment since I called the HIV hotline and the person blieve that I should be in minimal risk, but I am just very concerned.
Do you think what my risk are, and how concerned should I be? am I stupid not to proceed with PEP? "
I checked the forum and I found above statement. I had almost same incident. I knew my patient HIV+ status so I was very careful. Howevr, somehow water, possibly contaminated with blood splash into my eyelash, I am not 100 % sure if water got into my eye though,over my loop. I did not take PEP because I it was very low rsk. However, I felt chill on my upper arm next day and since four weeks after the incident, I have had mild intermitent muscle pain on my arms and one leg that I could not explain why I have. I also have sore throat for few weeks. I am planing to do 6weeks test next week and I need your support. Thanks in advance.
| Response from Dr. Frascino
Hello Dental Student,
First off, you were not "stupid not to check" the HIV status of your patient, because you must assume all your patients could be HIV positive and use the same universal precautions for everyone. It's worth pointing out that 25% of the one million HIV-positive Americans have absolutely no idea they are infected with the virus!
I agree with your decision to forgo PEP, as your HIV risk is extremely remote at best. Your "symptoms" are not suggestive of or worrisome for HIV ARS. I would suggest you get a single HIV test at the three-month mark to put your fears permanently to rest. Testing prior to three months is not considered to be definitive. I'm very confident your definitive HIV test results will be negative.
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