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Transmission of hiv via needlestick
Jan 10, 2012

On dec 6th 2011 I was drawing blood using a butterfly needle size 23 by 3/4 gauge on an hiv positive patient. Somehow I lost control of the needle on withdrawl and it kinda flug around in the air. I still had a hold of the vacutainer end. I was pretty much overcome with fear to the.point where I dont even know or realized I got stuck. I went to the batroom and took the glove off of my left hand, filled it up with.water. No holes. I did.the.same with the glove of my right hand and noticed a pin size hole around the area between the thumb and index finger. I washed my hands right away so I honestly dont know if there was bleeding. I keep telling myself that even after washing my hands it would have bled still. I didnt see a puncture site because my hands were very dry and cracked from washing/winter weather. I went to employee health and reported it right away. Seen an id dr who started me on truvada, pristiq, and norvair within two hrs. The id dr, is also the dr of the patient I was drawing blood on. He is neg for all hepititis and had a viral load of 139. At about sixteen days post.exposure I developed chills and a fever of 99.9 nausea and vomited twice. Symptoms were gone the next day but the id dr ordered an antibody hiv that came back negative and a quantitative hiv pcr test that.returned zero copies detected. I am terrified. I am depressed. I have a four year old son whom I can not even concintrate on due to anxiety and fear. I have.8 days.until my six week antibody.test and im having extreme.panic.attacks. Can someone offer some advice. Thank you.

Response from Dr. Wohl

You did the right thing by reporting this exposure and then discussing it with an expert. Your HIV testing results are very reassuring and I am very confident given what you write that you will be fine and are not infected. Your symptoms are likely due to the medication plus your anxiety.

Once you get the 6 week HIV test results and they are negative, which they will be, relax.

I had a more substantial needle stick when working in Africa and I too was worried. There was no PEP available. I tested negative a few weeks later and that was that. You will be fine. DW



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