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Possible needle stick-RN

Nov 26, 2008

I may have had a needle stick exposure with an large IM needle, noticed a large hole in thumb of glove and felt a little pain there too. No puncture seen, no fluid on glove, nothing. I am just so fearful of contracting HIV i am 13 weeks pregnant and can't get over these thoughts that i may have stuck my self. What are my chances of contracting HIV? What test should I have done to ensure the safety of my unborn child?

Response from Dr. Frascino


All RNs should know what to do when confronted with a possible exposure to bloodborne pathogens! You should report the incident and have it documented at the occupational health center or wherever your organization has designated to evaluate these problems. All medical facilities and agencies have policies/procedures in place to deal with occupational exposures. It is difficult for me to evaluate your HIV risk with limited information over the Internet. From what you've related, I would doubt you sustained a significant needlestick. A "large IM needle" hurts like hell when you stick your thumb. I'm quite sure you would have felt it. (If you don't believe me, try it with a sterile needle!) Most likely, routine HIV screening is all that's required. Report and document your potential exposure. Then follow the advice of the physician evaluating your incident, OK?

Good luck.

Dr. Bob

HIV Possibility

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