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Contact with a patient with HIV, fresh blood touched my scab

Dec 31, 2013

Hello Erik! Thanks for answering our questions. I work as a technician in surgery and came in contact with a patient who claimed he was HIV+. As per usual, universal precautions called for gloves, however, the pt had a pinprick that leaked onto my left arm. Panicked, I immediately went to a hand washing station, removed my gloves and performed a full scrub, but only noticed after I started washing thoroughly that I had two scabs on my right hand which I had been using to scrub my left arm. As I recall, the scabs had formed 4 or so days prior and were not open. I believe the water, soap, and blood did run over the scabs as I washed. I am paranoid about these things normally, and wanted to know if there was even a low risk of exposure.

Thank you for your time with this question.

Response from Mr. Glenn

Thanks for your question,

There is no risk from what you're talking about. None.

You had no significant openings into your body into which a significant amount of blood entered. Nothing like that in fact. You could make some argument that there was enough blood, but there most certainly wasn't an opening into your body.

I'm actually more so concerned about your self-reported paranoia. That can cause you to see things where they are not (such as your worry about HIV risk).

Hope this helps,


Contaminated Pressure?
Possible Occupational Exposure Being Ignored

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