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Risk of HIV for Baby
Mar 14, 2009

Doctor Bob,

I am calling on your knowledge and experience both with HIV and in the field of pediatrics.

I am panicking about the following -

My baby is now 18 months old. For some reason this came to me during the night last night. When he had his first needles at 6 weeks it was done at our local hospital in the Children's Ward.

After he was given the needle the nurse put a cotton ball on the needle wound. After a minute or so she removed the cotton ball and touched the needle mark with her bare finger.

I am absolutely beside myself with worry that when she has done this she has transferred HIV to him via the open wound.

The hospital is a very small country hospital and the CHildren's Ward is in the same place as the Emergency Dept and general wards. I am worried that the nurse may have had blood on her hands from another patient or from a surface or equipment in the hospital. Or could have had her own blood on her finger.

I did NOT see her wash her hands.

I am in an absolute mess about this. What should I do? What are the risks?

I am thinking I need to take him to his pediatrician and have HIV tests done?

He also has a 3 year old brother and I worry about the risks of it being given to him too.

PLEASE let me know what to do Dr Bob. My stomach is in knots and I cant stop crying - my boys are wondering what is wrong with me.

Nervously awaiting your reply...

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Anxious Mom,

The HIV risk is nonexistent. There is absolutely no cause for alarm or for taking your kids to the pediatrician. You report your stomach is in knots, you can't stop crying, your kids are wondering what's wrong with you and you are an absolute "mess." I agree you are a mess. Your children do not have a medical problem, but you do. You're suffering from anxiety and irrational fears of HIV. I would advise you contact your doctor for a referral to a psychologist or psychiatrist for evaluation and treatment.

Good luck. Remember HIV is not the problem! But you do have a problem that requires medical attention.

Dr. Bob



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