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Overly worred healthcare worker?
May 8, 2009

I have a question. What are the chances of getting HIV from a PEG tube splash where no "visible" blood is seen? I don't know the patient's status but with universal precautions lets pretend she's positive. I am a nurse and when the incident happened (almost 8 months ago)I felt convinced that nothing had gotten into my eyes though a drop got on my lip which I went to the bathroom and washed off. Over time OCD has set in and I'm like well what if it did get it my eyes? and I didn't have my eyes rinsed out?! I didn't even turn the event into occupation health as an exposure. I also just got my HIV test done today, and I have to wait 3 more weeks for results. Am I over-reacting and worrying for nothing?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

I'll make two quick points:

1. All occupational exposures or potential occupational exposures should be reported, documented and evaluated. Had you done so eight months ago, you wouldn't be freaking out now.

2. From the details given, I would assess your HIV risk as negligible at best. I'm confident your HIV test will be negative. Why do you have to wait three weeks for results? Rapid tests give results within 20 minutes and even routine ELISAs should only take several days at most.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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