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Author Topic: Concerned EMT, please help.  (Read 998 times)

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Offline ma_anderson72

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Concerned EMT, please help.
« on: August 26, 2008, 10:54:34 AM »
I work as an EMT and recently (about 2.5 months ago) got a single drop of blood on the (unbroken) skin of my forearm. I immediately wiped it off with a gloved finger, and wiped the area with an alcohol wipe. I washed my hands as soon as I was able, about 15 to 20 minutes later. Keeping in mind that I don't even know if the patient had anything transmittable, and there was absolutely no penetration (needle stick, etc.), is it extremely unlikely that I could have received something? I have a feeling that I am worrying over nothing, but I am debating on whether or not getting tested is a good idea vs. a waste of time and resources. Thanks in advance for the answers!

Offline Ann

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Re: Concerned EMT, please help.
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2008, 11:01:29 AM »
ma,

You're an EMT and you don't know the basics of the transmission of blood-borne viruses?

Hiv is not transmitted through the skin and yes, you are worrying over nothing in this instance.

However, if I were you, I'd start asking where you work about getting some training in Universal Precautions and WHY they are used. In other words, you - and likely others in your team - need to know about blood-borne viruses and how to protect yourselves in the line of duty. It's shocking that you don't already know chapter and verse on this stuff. It's basic and essential to the work you do.

Make sure you click on and read the Transmission Lesson link found in our Welcome Thread - and don't forget to get some training for yourself and co-workers.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...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 RapidRod

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Re: Concerned EMT, please help.
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2008, 07:48:12 PM »
EMT's are highly trained in Universal Precautions for blood and airborne diseases. I wonder how you made it through course and not know about HIV and other diseases.

Offline ma_anderson72

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  • Posts: 2
Re: Concerned EMT, please help.
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2008, 07:50:23 AM »
Thank you both for the quick replies.  While I am familiar with what the book says, regarding bloodborne diseases, I am well aware that there is usually a difference between the book, and the "streets".  The paramedic I work with told me that human skin is actually one of the best barriers out there, which I had not previously known.  One more quick question, if I may: I've heard of transmission through "microscopic cuts", usually in reference to sexual encounters.  Is this generally not a possibility in the situation I described?  I suppose I should have said, "as far as I could tell, the skin was unbroken".

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Concerned EMT, please help.
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2008, 08:04:04 AM »
ma,

No. The microscopic cut thing doesn't come into it in your case.

When hiv is spread through sexual contact, it's because there was unprotected anal or vaginal intercourse involved. Hiv is mainly spread through unprotected intercourse or sharing drug injecting equipment. Transmission due to accidental needle pricks, such as might occasionally happen in your profession, is actually quite rare. And it certainly never happens in the way you're worried about.

Here's the main thing you need to know in order to avoid hiv infection: 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.

Ann
Condoms are a girl's best friend

Condom and Lube Info  



"...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

 


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