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Should I worry??
Feb 21, 2010

Hi Dr Bob! First, I have to just tell you I think you are super-magnificent! The work you do is awesome. And I also find so much comfort in your opinions. I know my question might not pertain to a large group of users here, but I cannot find answers anywhere and Im driving myself CRAZY! SO please, please, PLEASEEEE (with cherries) give me a quick replyy....... I work in a private care home, and we dont really have a set practice for any kind of occupational exposure. Now I do have a very good idea of how to keep myself safe, but in any case im a little concerned. I was checking the blood sugar of a resident and giving him his insulin. The amount of blood for accucheck is very small, as you know. So I pricked him, put in a test strip and checked his levels. Then I pulled the strip out, threw it in the sharps container. I didnt notice at the time but apparently a small amount of blood got on my finger when I removed the strip. I then put a needle on his insulin pen, opened an alcohol swab and gave his insulin as usual. I then disposed of the needle, packed up and started back up the hall to wash my hands. (all in about 2 minutes at most) While walking my right eye became furiously itchy, and so i (stupidly)rubbed the inside corner with my index finger where the blood was. Before washing my hands. Thats when I noticed the blood. It did not come from my eye so it must have been the resident. I did flush it a briefly but im still concerned because I did RUB it into my eye. The resident is not known to be HIV+ or hep A, B or C+, however his family says they dont know if he has ever been checked and refused to have him tested for this case. My sup. blew it off and my doctor says probably no risk but test at 3 months. I saw her within 72 hours but she did not reccomend PEP. I would be sooooo gracious if you could just give me your opnion. Im just sort of sitting on the fence as to whether he is a risk (not sexually active for about 10 years, but did have some blood transfusions both before and after the 80s, and was in the navy - no known history of drug use)and if the blood would have been fresh enough and in enough quantity to infect me. I know you cant give me a definate answer, but Im hoping if I have to wait this 3 months out, you might keep me from going nutso!!! Thanks so much Dr, you really are the sweetest! :) I am sending a donation your way!!

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi,

You think I'm super magnificent? Wow, is that anything like supercalifragilisticexpialidocious? Just wondering.

I agree with your doctor! Your HIV-acquisition risk from this presumed occupational exposure is negligible at best. PEP was not warranted. A three-month test primarily to put your fears permanently to rest is all that's recommended. Don't go "nutso!" The odds are beyond astronomical that you did not contract HIV from this experience. OK?

Thanks for your donation to The Robert James Frascino AIDS Foundation (www.concertedeffort.org). It's warmly appreciated. In return I'm sending you my good-luck karma that you are now and will always be HIV free.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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