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HVI & Blood Splash
Jan 9, 2012

I am a nurse working in a cardiac unit. While I was fixing the IV tubing during a blood transfusion I felt a blood splash into my eyes(I was wearing contacts), I immediately checked my eye in the mirror did not see evidence of blood but I irrigated my eye with normal saline, I did not report it to my charge nurse because one year ago when I had evidence of blood drops on my glasses, they did not do anything because my supervisor said the risk of HVI was minimum since pt had no evidence of HVI. However, what is my chance of acquiring HVI of blood splash from blood transfusion? I know blood units are checked for HIV and Hep C, but I am worry and I am planning to see my primary provider for HVI testing? do u believe it is necessary or am I worrying too much? Do I need HIV testing in three months or as soon as possible? thank you so much for your time

Response from Dr. Wohl

It sounds like the blood that may or may not have splashed into your eye was not from the patient in your unit but from the blood being infused. If so, that is good as most places screen their blood for HIV, HBV and HCV (US and Europe do).

Reporting the incident is good practice and smart. Even if no prophylaxis is indicated, you have documentation of the event, which is useful in the very rare event you did contract HIV, HCV or HBV. Testing for these viruses could be done now and if negative repeated in about a month. IF all are negative you have nothing to worry about. FOr HBV testing to make sure your vaccination worked and you have HBV antibodies is important. DW



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