|eye splash exposure with HIV and hepatitis infected blood
Apr 23, 2010
I had an exposure to blood from a pt who was both HIV positive and Hepatitis C positive blood. He was receiving continuous dialysis and his blood splashed into my face and both eyes during a flush. I immediately washed my face and flushed out both eyes with about 500cc of saline followed by 2000cc of H2O when in the ER. I was started on 3 antiviral meds within 3 hours from exposure. I am still nervous and would like to know what my risk is for serum conversion of either viruses. I am told his viral load was considered low. Any comfort would be appreciated
| Response from Dr. Frascino
The updated U.S. Public Health Service Guidelines for the Management of Occupational Exposures to HIV indicate the average risk for HIV transmission after a mucous membrane exposure is approximately 0.09%. Your transmission risk is significantly decreased, as you began a course of PEP within three hours. We don't have statistics for hepatitis C transmission resulting from an occupational eye splash; however, it is also extremely low. Unfortunately there is no post-exposure prophylaxis for hepatitis C. You have done everything in your power to prevent transmission. Your overall risk is exceedingly low, but follow-up testing is warranted. You can download a copy of the guidelines at http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5409a1.htm.
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