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Bloody gauze in trash
Jul 31, 2011

Doctor,

Thank you for all that you do. I have a question that I have been having some difficulty finding the answer to. We recently had a medical issue happen where I work. I won't go into details for privacy purposes, but long story short, the EMTs that were responding had to draw the person's blood through his finger. After the incident, I was going through notes I had for work but accidentally dropped one of the pages into the trash. I reached down into the trash to retrieve it (yes it was that important) and was startled to see bloody gauze that was used on the patient. It was not a copious amount, and I am not sure if I touched the blood itself. The gauze had to be in the trash for at least a few minutes before I came into contact with it. Is this situation a risk? Should I plan on testing in a few months or just move on with my (anxious) life? I had no visible open cuts on my hands, and I immediately saturated my hands with disinfectant gel.

Thank you in advance. You really are a hero to us all whether you know it or not.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hi.

"Is this situation a risk"? Nope!

"Should I plan on testing in a few months or just move on...?" I'd suggest moving on! The only reason to consider HIV testing would be to gain psychological peace of mind.

Good luck. Be well. Stay well.

Dr. Bob



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