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Author Topic: Discarded sryringe needlestick injury risk.  (Read 5432 times)

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Offline bmw335d

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Discarded sryringe needlestick injury risk.
« on: November 09, 2008, 10:11:27 PM »
Hello, I'm sorry if this post may seem paranoid in nature, but it is a valid concern and of great importance to me. There also seems to be little information out there about improperly discarded syringes and the possible injuries that may result from them.

I work in a retail store, this store routinely performs inventory 4 times a year. The actual store employees are aided by counters that are often shady and unscrupulous. I was responsible for working one such inventory,when the event happened. I was moving some boxes around to reveal the UPC code when my counter [3rd party employee responsible for scanning in items] gasped slightly. I looked down only to find what appeared to be, and my opinion is by no means anywhere near professional on the matter, a small bore insulin delivery type needle. It was about 3 feet away from where I was standing. I quickly went into a panic and notified our "loss prevention" department about it. After freaking out I washed my hands extensively and continued on counting. Later in the evening I noticed a red mark on the upside of my left hand. I could not really make out what it was. There appeared to be something orange at the end of this needle, but I didn't really get a good look at it. This happened about 31 days ago, and has been causing me a great deal of unrest and agony. I have many questions. Among them are:

1. Would I have felt a small bore needle injury?
2. Would the wound bleed?
3. What are the risks associated with discarded syringes/needlesticks in a non-medical enviroment?
4. Should I even be remotely worried?
5. Should I proceed in having any sort of testing done? If yes, then when and what type?
6. What does a needlestick injury typically look like?
7. What do you guys think of the easykit (?) home anti-body test?
8. In the worst case, if it did somehow poke me and fall down on my hand, with a superficial type injury are their any risks?

Thank you for your commentary and for being understanding. If there is anybody in particular who is a needlestick injury expert, I would love to hear from them. Thanks again!

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Discarded sryringe needlestick injury risk.
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2008, 04:55:57 AM »
Had you have been poked you would have known, you wouldn't be guessing.  You were never at risk by looking at a syringe 3 feet away from where you were standing. The needle and syringe is not going to float over and poke you.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: Discarded sryringe needlestick injury risk.
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2008, 09:47:05 AM »
I agree with Rod. You're just in a state of alarm with feelings stirred up by having seen the needle and your mind going wild over it.

There's no need for further concern nor for testing over what was a totally non-risky incident. Period. End of story.
Andy Velez

Offline bmw335d

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  • Posts: 4
Re: Discarded sryringe needlestick injury risk.
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2008, 03:56:31 PM »
That does make me feel loads better. Even if it happened to scrape me in a superficial sense, would there be any reason to worry? I found conflicting information about it. Some "experts" claim that it's a total myth, and some say it's quite possible. Though the CDC says nobody has ever been exposed to it by way of needlestick injury in a non-medical circumstance. Just a bit scary if you ask me, I will never do inventory again, that's for sure. Thanks for your responses, very professional and much better than other forums.

Offline Ann

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Re: Discarded sryringe needlestick injury risk.
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2008, 05:09:38 PM »
bm,

No, you weren't at risk in the slightest.

In addition to reading the Transmission Lesson linked to in our Welcome Thread, here's what you need to know to remain hiv negative:

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.

ALTHOUGH YOU DO NOT NEED TO TEST OVER THIS NEEDLE INCIDENT, 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.

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

And don't be afraid to do inventory. You're not going to end up hiv positive because of it. No way - unless  you have unprotected intercourse with your counter.

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 bmw335d

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Re: Discarded sryringe needlestick injury risk.
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2008, 01:21:03 PM »
Sorry again to bother you guys, but I started feeling uneasy again. So is it impossible to transmit it by way of superficial injury via a discarded syringe? I've been restless in trying to remember if I felt anything poke me, but the memory is becoming more and more vague as I think about it. I'm really scared out of my mind, when it comes to this circumstance. So can I rest assured that even with a small scratch or poke that there is no cause for concern? If anybody has a scientific explanation behind the reason that might help me, I'm somewhat methodical in my thinking. Thanks again, and hopefully the US markets don't tumble anymore than they already have!

Offline RapidRod

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Re: Discarded sryringe needlestick injury risk.
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2008, 01:27:16 PM »
You were never at any time at risk from the situation you've provided.

Offline anniebc

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Re: Discarded sryringe needlestick injury risk.
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2008, 05:30:39 PM »
As Rod said you were not at risk, a needle stick injury has to be a deep injury, it has to penetrate several layers of skin, to become infected HIV has to get into the blood stream..a small scratch is definitely not a risk...trust us, you are good to go.

Jan
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline bmw335d

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Re: Discarded sryringe needlestick injury risk.
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2008, 05:58:30 PM »
Okay, I was waiting for that answer. As I said I don't know if I was poked or not, logic would suggest that it would be fairly painful to be struck by such a thing, but I guess I'm a highly concerned individual, good or bad that's the way I am. I will more than likely test anyway. It's quite annoying that somebody would discard such a needle in a retail store, maybe that's why people aren't shopping? I do appreciate your responses, I feel much better now knowing that it is impossible. I just pride myself in following precautions to the maximum extent and have refrained from involving myself in anything remotely risky. Maybe there should be a discarded needle/syringe section added to the transmission lesson, or an episode of House to address the issue =).

Needless to say I was scared out of my mind, but I do feel much more at peace after receiving your collective responses. It does reinforce the idea that something could go wrong at any event, it may not even occur to you or anybody else. Thanks again!

Offline Ann

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    • Num is sum qui mentiar tibi?
Re: Discarded sryringe needlestick injury risk.
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2008, 07:37:26 PM »
bmw,

If you'd been struck deep enough to cause an hiv concern, you WOULD have known about it. No doubt. Unintentional needle sticks hurt like hell.

You don't seem to know what happened to this syringe afterward. I hope you reported it to your supervisor so it could be disposed of properly.

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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