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Please help, worried about this risk?
Feb 23, 2014

I am highly concerned, I had blood drawn two days ago, as the nurse was getting ready to draw my blood she put her gloves on then reached in her drawer to get a tourniquet to put above my elbow where she was going to draw the blood, as she was tying the tourniquet on my skin I looked down and noticed blood on the tourniquet, I freaked and told her to change the tourniquet, so she took it off of me and reached in her drawer and got another one and tied it around my arm she was wearing the same gloves the whole time, i was so worried about the tourniquet i did not even think to tell her to change her gloves, she palpated my vein with her gloved hands just before inserting the needle in my vein. I am highly concerned that her gloved finger came in contact with that blood on the first tourniquet before palpating my vein, and if it was hiv infected blood it could have entered my bloodstream. I am scared and highly concerned, I have looked on the web at various different sites and it recommends not sharing tourniquets because it could transmit hiv, hep b and c. I called the place back and asked the technician if they re-used the tourniquets and she said yes! I am very scared about this situation could you give me some insite and your opinion about this please!!

Response from Ms. Southall

Hi It's good that you noticed and had her change the tourniquet but this is not a way for HIV transmission to happen. If that area had blood from someone living with HIV, the good news is once HIV leaves the body it begins to die and becomes unable to infect. Also, HIV transmission can only occur when there is a direct and prolonged exposure to body fluids, semen, vaginal fluid, blood or mother to child through breast feeding. This most commonly occurs through unprotected vaginal or anal sex and sharing of needles. Casual contact, sharing utensils, drinking after someone, etc are not way for HIV transmission to occur. If you go to this link HIV101 it will take you to our page that talks about the ways in which HIV is and is not transmitted.

You are HIV free from this experience.

Be well and stay safe, Shannon



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