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nervous
Jul 26, 2008

Hi doc,

I asked a question yesterday and didn't get a response. My wife is a new nurse and she was taking an iv out of an hiv positive patient and she thinks some blood might have flung back and hit her in the face but she wasn't definite. she used a white paper towel and dabbed her face and saw no blood, but she is afraid a tiny speck might have gotten in her eye. she went to the emergency room and the doctor and cdc told her not to worry too much that the chances are very slim. they did say that she could take the precautionary tests but there are some side effects and is probably not worth it, so she didn't. should we be worried or are we just being fanatical about this. she got tested right away and was hiv negative.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

I would definitely agree with the emergency room physician and CDC. Your wife's potential occupational exposure is extremely, extremely remote. Even if a significant amount of HIV-infected blood were to come into contact with the mucous membranes of the eye, the transmission risk would only be 0.09%! I would agree PEP (post-exposure prophylaxis) is not recommended or warranted. I would advise she repeat her HIV test in three months to reconfirm her negative status and also to put any residual worries permanently to rest. I'm very confident the follow-up test will remain negative.

Dr. Bob



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