Freaked out medical student!
Mar 9, 2011
I'm sorry to bother you with this question but last week during rounds, there was an Hiv + patient with an enlarged inguinal lymph node and I tought: No broken skin, I'll touch it.. It was hypertermic and tender.. after that i saw no fluids on my fingers, in one of them i had a small paper cut. But the thing is that one of the clinical residents seemed to freak out and screamed that next time i should wear gloves...
Since then i became very paranoid because i feel i can't trust my judgement... Was this a careless thing to do?
Response from Dr. Frascino
Actually your judgment is fine; it's the screaming clinical resident that is at fault here. (I'm sure he or she meant well.) Examining an HIV-positive patient requires gloves only when there is non-intact skin or possible exposure to infectious bodily fluids. Palpating adenopathy (enlarged lymph nodes) does not require a latex barrier. You were not careless. Your resident either overreacted or is woefully misinformed. You should discuss the issue with an HIV-knowledgeable attending physician at your hospital. He should then advise the resident regarding appropriate universal precautions.
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.