stucked by a 3 cc syringe
May 7, 2011
im a medical student and while disposing a 3cc syringe needle,i got stucked mildy on my pointing finger and some blood came out,very little.the syringe was previously(15 mins earlier) used to draw a blood sample from a newborn baby with no maternal history of hiv infection or aids,i mean the mother was never tested for hiv infection.the baby was born through cesarian section,indication:narrow hip.the mother was healthy through out pregnancy and had no history of any kind of illness during pregnancy.this is her second child and the child was admitted beacuse of cyanosis and a suspect of a congenital heart disease. could u please assess my risk doctor??is this a serious concern?? my exam is around the corner and i just cant focus anymore because of this matter.im going crazy.please help me doctor.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Hello Medical Student,
Any and all occupational exposures -- or even potential occupational exposures -- to blood-borne pathogens (HIV,hepatitis, etc.) should be immediately reported to occupational health where the incident will be documented and a risk assessment performed. If necessary, post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) would be administered and appropriate testing or follow-up would be arranged. This is a very important lesson for you to learn, as needle sticks or lacerations from scalpels are not uncommon in health care professionals -- particularly in medical students, interns and residents, as they are still learning the techniques. (I could say you guys are more clumsy, but that would be unkind and besides I'm the guy who wound contracting HIV from an occupational exposure, right?)
From the limited history you provide, your HIV-acquisition risk would be negligible, because pregnant women are now routinely HIV tested, and if the mom was positively charged it would be noted in her chart. If the mom is HIV negative, then the baby is as well. Despite this I would still encourage you to report the incident (even after the fact). It's good experience and will help calm your fears in the long run.
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