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Author Topic: Getting blood drawn - need advice  (Read 2928 times)

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Offline Tori

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  • Posts: 2
Getting blood drawn - need advice
« on: June 07, 2008, 11:48:45 AM »
Hello,

I went in to get some bloodwork done and I'm worried about how the nurse drew my blood. Here's what happened:

The first nurse was unable to find my vein. She tried both arms, poked around for awhile until I asked her to get someone else. Both my arms were bleeding from this.

The next nurse came in. She was drying her hands so I assume she had just washed them, but I don't know. Anyway, she took the bandage off my left arm and blotted the area with alcohol. Then she put on a pair of gloves, and got a new needle. At this point, I turned away because I don't like to see the needle going into my arm. I felt her touching my arm, trying to find the vein. Then the needle went in. After a moment I looked at my arm, and I noticed that as she was drawing my blood, her index finger was not gloved and it was pushing down on my vein right above where the needle was. I told her she had a huge hole in her glove and she said she did it on purpose to better feel my vein.

Here's why I'm so concerned. She used an ungloved finger to find my vein after I had already been poked with a needle and was bleeding. To me this seems completely unsanitary, and I'm concerned that she could have infected me with something. I don't know if she had a cut on her index finger or if her hands were clean. I just assumed that once she put on her gloves, I was protected. I know that this isn't a typical way of contracting HIV, and I've read the lessons. However, I am still afraid and need your input. Do I have anything to worry about in regards to HIV? What about other diseases?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
Tori

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Getting blood drawn - need advice
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2008, 01:04:42 PM »
No, you did not have a risk of contracting HIV.

Offline Ann

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  • It just is, OK?
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Re: Getting blood drawn - need advice
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2008, 01:12:24 PM »
Tori,

There is NO WAY on earth you would have become infected with hiv through this incident. NO WAY. Even if she had a cut, even if she was hiv positive... whatever. Transmission does NOT occur in this manner.

I suggest you read through the Welcome Thread and click on the Transmission Lesson so you can have a better understanding of how hiv is and is not transmitted. It is primarily transmitted through unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse.

You need to be using condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, every time, no exceptions until such time as you are in a securely monogamous relationship where you have both tested for ALL sexually transmitted infections together. To agree to have unprotected intercourse is to consent to the possibility of being infected with an STI. Sex with a condom lasts only a matter of minutes, but hiv is forever.

Have a look through all three condom and lube links in my signature line so you can use condoms with confidence.

Anyone who is sexually active should be having a full sexual health care check-up, including but not limited to hiv testing, at least once a year and more often if unprotected intercourse occurs.

If you aren't already having regular, routine check-ups, now is the time to start. As long as you make sure condoms are being used for intercourse, you can fully expect your routine hiv tests to return with negative results. Don't forget to always get checked for all the other sexually transmitted infections as well, because they are MUCH easier to transmit than hiv.

You did NOT have a risk for hiv during your blood draw. NO RISK.

Use condoms for anal or vaginal intercourse, correctly and consistently, and you will avoid hiv iinfection. It really is that simple!

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

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"...health will finally be seen not as a blessing to be wished for, but as a human right to be fought for." Kofi Annan

Nymphomaniac: a woman as obsessed with sex as an average man. Mignon McLaughlin

HIV is certainly character-building. It's made me see all of the shallow things we cling to, like ego and vanity. Of course, I'd rather have a few more T-cells and a little less character. Randy Shilts

Offline Tori

  • member
  • Posts: 2
Re: Getting blood drawn - need advice
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2008, 08:19:47 PM »
Thanks for the quick response. Can you explain to me why this is a no risk situation? I assume healthcare workers wear gloves when drawing blood for a reason. If this particular nurse makes it a habit of drawing blood without protection, couldn't she have had someone else's blood on her finger?

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: Getting blood drawn - need advice
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2008, 08:52:06 PM »
Tori,

HIV is transmitted inside the body, which is why unprotected anal and vaginal sex are particular risks. Similarly to be infected in a clinical setting you would have to be jabbed with a low bore needle contaminated with HIV positive blood. Simply being touched by somebody who is not wearing gloves will not cause HIV to be transmitted.

Now in terms of universal cross infection procedures, the nurse certainly should be wearing gloves whenever s/he performs and invasive procedure on a patient. There are a range of other infectious agents which can be transmitted via skin to skin contact other than HIV. In future you should ask any health care professional who is performing a procedure of any kind on you to wear appropriate protection.

If they refuse, you have right to refuse to have the procedure done.

That said and as Ann notes, this is not an HIV situation.

MtD

Offline anniebc

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  • Posts: 5,939
  • AM member since 2003
Re: Getting blood drawn - need advice
« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2008, 09:05:11 PM »
There is no risk of HIV infection from the phlebotomist to the patient, in fact you are more of a risk to them, that is the main reason they wear gloves, it's for their protection, as well as yours.

One of the reasons a lot of phlebotomists don't wear gloves (to start with ) is to make it easier on the patient, if you are a patient with bad veins and difficult to bleed then trying to palpate a vein with gloves on is not easy, veins are easier to find/feel without gloves...but having said that once the vein is located she should then be wearing gloves while taking blood, if you are unhappy about this then talk to the people involved at your clinic.

Even if she had blood on her finger from a previous patient..and I doubt very much this was the case, there is still no risk.

Jan


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