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Blood Exposure
Mar 14, 2013

I recently posted the question below but the response I received was based on the fact that there was not blood on the gloves. Could someone please answer for me assuming that there was blood on the gloves and there was only 15 seconds between the time that the assistant touched the other person's blood and when they touched my wound (that had just been stitched up)? Thank you so much. I promise to make a donation for all your help and work you do!

Recently I was at the plastic surgeon's office to get a small mole removed from my back. After the surgeon finished the surgery, he left and a couple minutes later his assistant came back to clean up my back and put the bandage over my stitches. However, while the Dr was working on me, the assistant was in the other room setting up the other patient (i.e. setting up the tools, applying iodine, etc). I noticed that the assistant had stuff on his gloves when he came back (it looked like iodine) and he did not change them from the other patient. I even asked him "that's not blood, right?" and he was like "no, no of course not". However, I am still worried - what if it was blood. What if some blood from the anesthesia shot from the other patient got on his gloves when he was applying the iodine? Or what if the doctor quickly asked him to grab a couple of tools that had blood on them after he was finished using them on the surgery of the other patient. Would the virus be able to survive on his gloves and then be transmitted to me through my open wound? Would my wound still be considered open if it was stitched up?

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi The likelihood of HIV transmission with your situation is just not likely. If it were to be blood on the gloves, HIV begins to die once it is outside the body and is unable to infect. There would have to be a direct exchange of body fluid from the person infected immediately with you, which is why sex and injection drug use carry the highest risk of transmission.

I would not be concerned about your experience.

Be well and stay safe, Shannon



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