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blood in the eyes
Jul 27, 1998

Recently, while disposing of some serum samples in the lab, a specimen (HIV pos patient), hit something in the waste and splashed up. A couple of drops hit me in the eye. Do I need to be worried about HIV transmission?

Response from Ms. Breuer

In 18 years of the epidemic, there are only 1 or 2 cases of HIV infection from this type of exposure. I suggest, since this is a workplace exposure, that you obtain baseline testing for HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C if you have not already done so. If for some reason you should later develop a positive test for any one of them, you would need the baseline tests to be able to make your case that a workplace exposure led to the infection. Use whatever physician or lab your employer uses for workers' compensation cases. If you do this, you will have the information you need to protect both your rights and your health. Please do it soon.

Nancy Breuer



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