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URGENT CARE IMPORTANT!
Feb 14, 2009

I recently went to a Health Care Partners Medical Group Urgent Care facility. I was having an ear ache and I guess I had build-up so they had to remove it using an irrigation syringe looks like this http://www.earclear.com/

As I was sitting on that patient bed that has that wax paper running down the middle, I noticed a spot of blood, I suppose from a previous patient. So many people go in and out of that place! After seeing the blood, its scared me!! They flushed it out with warm water I guess. And it HURT!! It pulls the little hairs in your ear, what if I bled, or someone else bled and they re-used it?

* Could they have re-used the irrigation syringe on me?

* And if they did, could it have infected me if someone's blood was on it or in it?

* IS THIS THE SAME AS A SYRINGE WE READ ABOUT THAT CAN TRANSMIT HIV??

I WILL DONATE $150!!! PLEASE HELP ME! I would greatly, greatly appreciate it more than anything. Where do I send donations?

P.S Are the irrigation syringes one time use? They are plastic, that's all I know :/

Cont. URGENT CARE IMPORTANT (Submitted Feb 12, 2009)

I had asked about the ear irrigation syringe question...I needed to also ask (for stress release) if that blood stain that was on the wax paper stuff, which was the size of a dime...if I laid on it would there be a risk? I was wearing a shirt that exposed my back and arms, and I get a bit of acne on my back that bleeds occasionally. Or what if my hand touch it then I rubbed my eyes or nose? The stain must had been there about 5 minutes until I layed down. I will add another $50 to make an even $200 from my last message. If you could combined these 2 questions, I would truly appreciate it!

<3

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

Your questions have been combined per your request. Hopefully I'll be able to clear up some points of confusion and set your mind at rest.

1. Your HIV risk is essentially nonexistent.

2. An ear syringe is not the same kind of syringe you have read about in connection with HIV transmission. That type of syringe is a hollow-bore needle used for injections of drugs or medications.

3. There are different methods for ear canal irrigation. None of them is considered a risk for HIV transmission. Your fears of a blood-to-blood contamination via ear canal irrigation are completely unwarranted.

4. Although I agree it's bad technique to have blood spots on examination tables, your chances of acquiring HIV from lying on a dime-sized spot is nonexistent. Gosh, if HIV were transmitted that easily it would have wiped out the planet long ago. Take a read through the archives of this forum. We have an entire chapter on HIV nonsexual transmission. You should find the information there enlightening and reassuring.

5. If reading the archives and my reassurance is not enough for you to shake off your HIV worries get a single HIV-antibody test at the three-month mark. Although I do not feel the test is warranted medically, it may be worth the time and effort psychologically to put your unwarranted worries permanently to rest.

6. Finally, thank you for your generous donation to the Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation. Donation information can be found on the foundation's Web site at www.concertedeffort.org. The foundation's address is:

The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation 1000 Fremont Ave., Suite 145 Los Altos, CA 94024

In return I'm sending you my good-luck/good-health karma.

Be well. Stay well. (Yes, you are indeed "well".)

Dr. Bob



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