|dried blood on an HIV patient
Feb 27, 2010
Hi dr. Bob! Im a nurse, and i received a patient from the ER with penile bleeding. He is HIV+, and as i introduced myself to him, he shook my hand and while talking to him i noticed that his hand is covered with dried blood. I immediately went to a sink to wash my hands and i applied a alcohol based disinfectant. My thumb has a little peeling and it stinged after i applied the alcohol. But theres no visible blood from my thumb. I immediately called my supervisor and i went to see a doctor. As a protocol they called the PEP hotline. They didnt recommend any PEP therapy. I filed an exposure report and the communicable doc also doesnt recommend prophylaxis. I am just paranoid and totally gross-out of that incident. Please give me your opinion. Thanks alot.
| Response from Dr. Frascino
You did the correct thing reporting and documenting the incident and having the potential exposure evaluated. I agree your HIV-acquisition risk is negligible and that PEP was not warranted. Dried blood is not considered an HIV risk. You can be HIV-antibody tested at three and six months, if you remain concerned. The odds are astronomically in your favor that you did not contract HIV from this bloody handshake.
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