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Possible exposure to blood
Nov 23, 2003

I handled a file in my office that had blood on it but at the time I did not know it. I only found out about it recently because I had to work with the file again and I'm certain it wasn't my blood. There were two small smears on it. I know hiv dies quickly when exposed to the air but what if I came in contact with the blood when it was still wet. I don't recall having any recent cuts on my hands. I am an extremely nervous person and suffer from ocd but would appreciate any comments.

Response from Ms. Breuer

A smear of blood on a paper surface would dry so quickly that it wouldn't be a risk to you. My general advice to anyone who comes across a bloody file is to replace the file folder with a clean one. HIV is definitely NOT a risk in that scenario, but someone else coming along with a fresh cut could (remote, remote risk) conceivably come in contact with hepatitis B that way. Nothing bloody should remain in circulation in a workplace.

You are fine. And smart.



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