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Crazy medical student Dr.Bob I cant eat or sleep please answer
Jan 30, 2010

Hey Dr.Bob I havent slept for days I need to know whether I am developing an ocd or whether I should even get an hiv test, and your honesty is what I need.

I did some ward rounds 2 weeks ago with my mentor in an immunology ward. Did 2 patients blood pressure both are hiv pos. I touched their arm to feel their pulse I then noticed i touched some blood on their arm i think it was dry as i when i looked at my finger i didnt see any visible blood in my finger.

A week after i started to get a fever and suffered from fatigue.

Went to see my local doctor who thinks i am crazy she said if you didnt the blood in your fingers then the blood was dry and i probably got some other viral infection.

My question is ..as irritional as it might sound..Dr.Bob can blood that is not visible to the eye go into my blood stream? (i dont think i had any cuts) but lets say i did, can it?

A test here is expensive as my local doctor didnt bother do one. Do you think the symptoms I am going though can now be related to anxiety. My doctor had a bit of a go at me as well she told me i am being stupid, but getting a fever after is freaking me out.

Please pretty please doc this is ruining my life. This is my second time asking I know you are busy Dr.Bob but i havent slept in days and i keep checking this site and whether you answered me.

By the way May God bless you for your hard work.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello,

See below.

Dr. Bob

Worried medical student please help! Jan 30, 2010

Hey doctor I hope you can help me because I am going crazy here. I am a third year medical student and i was in doing ward rounds with the senior doctor I was asked to take a patient blood pressure. I didnt wear any gloves, I took his BP and noticed that i touched some blood (it was dry because when i looked at my fingers there wasnt any blood on my fingers) anyways I washed my hands.

Same thing happened AGAIN with a different patient, checked my finger I didnt have any cuts (not that I know of) plus the blood wasnt fresh because i looked at my hands and i didnt have any blood on them.

Both patients were hiv positive. I am trying to be rational here and I know that i couldnt have catched anything as there was no blood in my hand. However whats making me paranoid is that I had a fever which went away after a couple of days and i been feeling extremely tired lately.

Do you think I should be tested?

I never been so scared in my life doctor, I spoke to my mentor and he said I am at no risk. People are acting as if i am crazy lol. I keep thinking that maybe i didnt see the blood going in, I dont know..

I mean maybe I am paranoid but do I have any reason to be? What do you think?

Thanks x

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello Third-Year Med-Stud.,

You may indeed be "trying to be rational," but I assure you that you are not succeeding. Your fears are completely unwarranted. I agree with your mentor: no risk!

HIV is not your problem, but I do think you have a medical problem that does warrant attention: irrational fear of HIV. Please note your problem is "fear," not HIV. This type of irrational fear could inhibit your career in medicine if it is not dealt with now. I urge you to seek psychotherapy (counseling) to help you confront and conquer these irrational fears. Let untreated, they can and often do worsen. (Check the archives for lots of examples!)

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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