Poked at school
Sep 13, 2009
Hi dr bob. I have a question for you and I've looked fir a similar question in the archives but haven't been able to find one. I am a second year medical student about to start my clinical rotations. The other day I was in a doctors clinic with a group of classmates and the doctor was teaching us physical exam skills. When he was teaching us about the neurology sensory exAm he used me as an example and poked me repayedly on my feet and hands with the pointy tip of a scalpel. The scalpel was initially on a table so I'm not sure if it was a new or used one. I didn't think much about it until a few days later when u was learning about HIV and how it is transmitted. Is it possible if the scalpel had been used that HIV could be transmitted like this. I definitely felt a poke on my hands multiple times but did not bleed. In addition other people used the same scalpel on different people to teg for pain sensation. Is this a risk factor or transmission an should I get tested. Thanks a lot.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Hello Second Year Med. Stud.,
The HIV-acquisition risk from undergoing a properly conducted neurology exam (including getting poked by a pointy-sharp object) is nonexistent. I see no cause for concern or reason to consider HIV testing.
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