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Hep C contact
Feb 4, 2009

Hello I am a NICU nurse, and we recently had a babe born at home that was brought to emerg via ambulance. I was called down, didn't see any gloves, but babe was very unwell so I jumped in and gave o2 and started stimulating the babe. She had dried blood on her from birth and was approx 1hr old at this time. As soon as the babe perked up, I put on gloves and proceeded with care. I had no open cuts on my hands at the time, but my skin was very dry. I found out later the mother was Hep C positive. So I am very worried about the chances that I might have gotten the virus. I went to occ health, and they were not concerned. Saying that even a needle poke would still be less then 2% chance of getting it. What do you say? I am very worred about this matter. Thank you for your time.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

I agree with the assessment you were given by the occupational health folks. Bloodborne viruses, such as HIV and hepatitis, cannot permeate intact skin. If you remain worried, I'm sure occupational health would be willing to screen you for hepatitis C and HIV; but, I don't feel it's medically warranted. However, it might be helpful psychologically to put your fears to rest.

Dr. Bob



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