|HIV or Hep C from Handling Hospital Blanket/Sheet?
Dec 12, 2010
Hi Doctor, your wisdom has put my mind at ease on many occasions, but this time I feel like I experienced a new scenario that you never covered and I would really appreciate your input on this...
I tend to my Mother who needs to go to the hospital frequently for various issues. Yesterday I had to take her to the Cardiologist's office at a major hospital for a "tilt table" test, which takes about 2 hours to complete.
Well, they called her back for the test and she asked me to watch her things for her. Since she was sitting opposite from me I naturally went over to her side and picked up everything and brought it to my side. Well, one of the things I picked up was a white hospital sheet (which was bundled by her stuff). I thought it was her blanket since she gets cold often.
Then I went about waiting. I think I rubbed my eyes a few times throughout the 2 hour duration and perhaps picked at my finger nails (nothing was obviously bleeding).
When she came out I went to hand her the sheet/blanket and she said that it wasn't hers. Evidently it was someone elses and it was just sitting by her stuff! At a basic glance, I didnt see any blood on the sheet/blanket it looked clean (though I didnt open it up and examine it) but just balled up like someone would do after using it.
I then looked at my hands really well and verified that nothing was bleeding (like my fingernail cuticles), but I did have a couple areas on my hands where a layer or two was pulled back on my cuticle - it wasn't bleeding at all, but it did have a slight burn in that area when I washed my hands with soap. Of course, I'm thinking that burning is my bodys way of telling me that I just infected myself.
Question - What are my risks of catching HIV or Hep C (or anything else) after handling that sheet/blanket if that sheet/blanket was from someone with HIV or Hep C (or anything else) and given that I rubbed my eyes, picked my cuticles, and had a couple areas by my fingers where the skin was pulled back? Do I need to go get tested? Should I worry? Am I crazy?
| Response from Dr. Frascino
You ask: "Am I crazy?" The answer is absolutely! You can't contract HIV or hepatitis C from merely touching a hospital blanket or sheet. Be reasonable frevinsakes!
Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS
This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.
Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.