|imposing HIV testing on source from exposed worker
Aug 23, 2003
Does the Ryan White law state that if a health care worker is exposed to a patient via needlestick or otherwise that that healthcare worker can legally obtain blood from the source against the sources' will???
| Response from Ms. Breuer
The Ryan White Care Act is an appropriations bill that dispenses funding. It isn't related to needlesticks on the job.
A healthcare worker who sustains a needlestick follows a protocol established by the CDC and the worker's own hospital/clinic. It's called PEP, or post-exposure prophylaxis. Testing the source would not be entirely helpful, since the source could be within the window period. Most reliable sources of information on health care worker exposure advise against testing the source and in favor of treating the exposed health care worker. When this protocol is followed, the resulting infection rate is virtually zero.
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