|Possible health care worker exposure/ symptoms
Aug 5, 2007
I am a RN in the ER. I am also 5 months pregnant. I was treating a patient that is a known drug abuser butit is not known if she has HIV. I was wearing gloves when the HUB to her IV became unattached. As I pealed away the tegaderm bandage a small amount of blood sprayed out. I did not feel any go into my nose, mouth or eyes, but I don't know, just didn't feel anything. I took care of the patient and then left. After I took off my gloves and a little later I noticed a small amount of blood on my hand on intact skin, I washed it off. A little later I looked down and saw a drop of blood had landed on my stethoscope earpiece, I don't know if it had been in my ear or not, it was a small drop but still moist as I easily wiped it off with a paper towel then went back to work. I don't know if there was any open cuts in my ears or anything. I then started thinking about it 2 days later and got scared. Could I have gotten HIV this way? Are ears a mucous membrane that could have transmitted this. I did not notice any other droplets anywhere, my shirt did not have any nor did my face. I am 5 months pregnant and scared. Now 20 days after the incident I am having diarrhea for 3 days now. I also have a rash the size of a dime on my chest that is red and itchy, but that is it. No fever so far or swollen glands. I am extremely tired but I am pregnant so I don't know what that is from. Does a small dime size itchy red spot sound like the ARS rash? What about the diarrhea? Is that characteristic of ARS? Please don't tell me to go to mmy supervisor because I already passed the PEP window and I am pregnant anyways and really just want to know if this is even something to worry about to go and talk to anyone. It was a small amount of blood on my hand and earpiece, could that be a high risk exposure. You will really be helping a nervous and pregnant lady. I was tested for HIV 3 months ago at the beginning of my pregnancy and have only been with my husband of 9 years. Thank you so much
| Response from Dr. Frascino
The ear canals are not mucous membranes.
From what you describe, you did not have a significant occupational exposure. However, I recommend all potential exposures to HIV or other bloodborne pathogens be reported on an incident report so that they are documented. A more formal evaluation can then be done quickly and, if needed, a treatment and/or testing protocol begun.
Your "symptoms" are not suggestive of or worrisome for HIV ARS.
As for going to your supervisor, the point I want to stress is that if you had gone to your supervisor at the time of the incident, you would not be in your present conundrum! Occupational-exposure policy and procedures are in place to help you! I encourage you and all HCWs to use them!
Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS
- HIV Infection Risk Blowjob From A Prostitute
- Blood In Urine After Vaginal Sex Worried I Have HIV
- Dry Cough After Swallowing Worried I Have HIV
- Itchy Skin After Deep Kissing Sign Of HIV AIDS
- Itchy Vagina After Licking Rectum Sign Of HIV AIDS
- Testicular Pain After Giving Handjob Worried I Have HIV
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.