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Nurse splashed by inanimate object...
Sep 7, 2011

Hi, last week I was changing caps on a central line, and I noticed a little saline with a tinge of blood on my glove. Hastily (after a call out on the floor) I took off my gloves noting that I got a few drops of "something" splashed to my face. I am not sure if it reached my eye or not. I immediately went and washed my face and irrigated my eyes with water and reported it to employee health. They started me on medications, but I had to discontinue them after 4 days - they made me very sick to my stomach (even while taking it with Zofran). What do you think are the chances I will seroconvert down the road? The infectious-disease nurse told me seroconversion only "rarely" happens after a "large direct blood splash" to the eyes that was not washed out promptly. Can you shed some light on this please? Thank you very much. R.F.

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hello, RF.

I'm glad you reported the incident immediately. From the information provided I'm surprised they advised you to take a course of PEP. It doesn't seem warranted in my opinion. I agree acquiring HIV from such an incident would be extremely remote, even if the fluid was "blood tinged." I suggest you follow the guidelines for HIV testing after an occupational exposure, which recommend HIV-antibody testing at four-to-six weeks, three months and six months from the date of exposure.

Good luck.

Dr. Bob



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