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Possible eye exposure. PEP warranted?!!
Jul 31, 2011

Dr. Franscino,

I know this question may be slightly irrational and I may have a bit of OCD but I am still worried sick. I am a student audiologist and we are not told to wear gloves unless blood is present. I performed otoscopy on a small child and following this, so did my supervisor and another student. I am worried that I may have gotten blood on my finger although i didn't notice any (but did not check) and proceeded to touch my eye without washing my hands. The child did not appear at first glance to be bleeding. (I had no cuts on my finger) Am I, in your opinion at risk?

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi.

You state you know your question may be "slightly irrational." I absolutely agree, except I'd leave off the "slightly."

You also state you "may have a bit of OCD...." Once again I agree! However, I'd leave off the "may " and "a bit of".

Your HIV-acquisition risk from the event described is nonexistent. I see absolutely no cause for alarm or HIV testing, let alone a course of PEP, frevinsakes!!!

You should consider getting counseling from a licensed mental health professional to help you confront these irrational fears. Failure to get them under control could have a very negative impact on your career.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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