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Needle prick at an accupuncturist office
Apr 18, 2012

Hi,

yesterday I went to see an accupuncturist he was from Korea and spoke very little english. I noticed him holding a bunch of needles in his hands and placing them where needed he seemed skilled. They all came out of closed bags, however he put some of the unused ones that he held in his hand back in the bags possibly for later, I just thought hmm thats kind of unclean, but oh well. later he was putting something like a pen on my middle finger and when he pressed on it a needle would come out to prick me on each middle finger which made me bleed some he extracted some of my blood from my finger in a cotton. It all went fast and I did not really understand beforehand what he planed, he wanted to test something. He is practicing traditional medicine and so I was not too concerned at that time. Hoever later when I was home, I became rather worried about that needle prick in my fingeres and how it was from that weired pen device, which I am rather unsure how sanitary it can be and how many have been pricked with that I did not see him washing it or needled coming out and replace or anything. I am not certain how much a risk factor it may be contracting any disease not just HIV from that single prick, the idea is pretty frightening. I am sure he sees a few sick people in his office all throughout the day and I do question his level of hygene now. Not sure if I call him up and ask him, if I get answer or if he even understands me so I am asking you, do I have reason do worry here?? I am usually not paranoid and it is not something that I immagined it happed the way I explained. I am simply concerned and unsure about if a prick lick that with this needle device (possibly unclean) can cause serious harm or contract disease ??

Thanks you in advance

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi If for some reason this needle was used on someone prior to you and was not cleaned, the good news is that HIV dies within minutes of leaving the body and so that would not pose a danger of infection. Hepatitis C does survive longer. So I do believe it is worth a phone call asking how he sterilizes equipment after procedures. Most acupuncturist and Eastern Medicine practices ensure that they are not causing more harm but there are always those who forget or short cut cleaning instruments we talk about this with getting tattoos and piercings. I would recommend follow up with him.

Be well and stay safe, Shannon



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