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HIV risk from dry blood "Intravenous cannula dressing"

Jan 26, 2012

About 10 days ago I removed an intravenous cannula from a HIV positive person and when putting the dressing in the bin I dropped the transpore (tape) that was on the dressing and it had dry blood on it possibly new blood from removing the cannula and I picked it up with my fingers automatically after dropping it and I didn't have any gloves on. I bit my nails and bit around the cuticles and pull skin off and bleed after doing this and I think I rubbed my eyes a I am freaking out big time that I have been infected. I am being a hyperchondriac about the symptoms I got a rash on my fore arm red dots slightly raised. I cannot stop thinking about it. Thank you for you advice in advance

Response from Mr. Glenn

Thanks for the question,

There's no risk from the situation you're describing. Overall, HIV is not an easy virus to get. It only happens under certain circumstances. This is not one of them.

If blood is dry, HIV is dead. No exceptions.

If the blood is wet, remember: skin is more durable and powerful than most people think. Unless the skin is compromised in a substantial way (deep cut, open sore, etc.), HIV can't get in. Bitten nails and cuticles don't count.

You may want to consider that if you're stressing out a lot, that might be the source of your rash.. Stress and anxiety can have those kind of effects on the body.

Since you're working in a medical setting, it's important to be aware of all emergency protocols. It's probably a good idea to refresh on sanitary procedures too. If you feel this anxiety often, it would probably be a good idea to find someone to talk you feeling over with. This can be a supervisor, friend, family member, or even a counselor.


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