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Butterfly Needle stick
Jul 21, 2003

I work in a bioavailability clinic and I was drawing blood on a subject who is supposed to be healthy. I jerked the butterfly needle line and it pulled out of his arm accidently. I rushed to clean up the blood and put the needle on some gauze. I had to get another butterfly, and so i reached for the butterfly and accidently stuck myself in my thumb. I pulled my hand back after feeling the stick and the needle fell out of the glove. There was blood in the needle, and when I took my glove off, i was pricked. I massaged my finger to make it bleed but it barely did. I swabbed it with alcohol repeatedly. This person had been screened and was in a study for healthy people, however, I know HIV can sometimes not be detected for up to six months. What are the chances that I could have contracted HIV? No blood was injected into my finger with a syringe, but i am worried about how much could have been injected if there was a drop of blood on the needle. We know who is in the HIV+ studies, and I have had no contact with those people, but do you think that a person who does have HIV could sneak through screening tests and be perceive to be healthy? Thanks, VERY WORRIED FOR MY LIFE

Response from Ms. Breuer

With this level of worry, please, please get yourself to an infectious disease doc in your workplace or nearby. We are not physicians here, and cannot ask you the follow-up questions that a qualified practitioner can ask right away. Sometimes you have to see a physician on an emergency basis. This appears to be one of them. I don't think you are at much risk, but your fear could impair your own performance on the job and thus increase your risk. Please: see an infectious disease doc and get this settled.



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