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Author Topic: needlestick injury (medical worker)  (Read 4298 times)

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Offline frankie78

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needlestick injury (medical worker)
« on: July 14, 2011, 01:31:42 PM »
I know my risk is extremely low, but the more reassurance I get, the better I feel. I work for a medical device reprocessing company and we collect single used devices from the operating room. I was picking up a container one day and a syringe (that should have been in the sharps container) stuck the side of my index finger. I bled and quickly washed and applied iodine solution.

Now, here are all the facts. The needle was a small 25 gauge needle that was almost completely full of clear fluid. The fact that the syringe was almost completely full makes me think it was not used. Also - the fluid was completely clear - no tint of pink/red from blood. We only pick up containers from this specific hospital once every 60 days - meaning it could be anywhere from 1 day old to 60 days old, but it was towards the bottom of the container so it was probably not too recently used. After getting stuck I looked at the syringe and saw no visible blood, and when I pressed on the syringe only clear liquid came out - no blood. Further, this was for a day surgery section at the hospital - they have no trama and every patient is screened beforehand. They also rarely take infectious patients (they send them to the main hospital across the street).

I took truvada and azt for 2 days after the incident, but felt too ill and decided my risk was low enough to stop taking the medication. It's been 3 weeks and I have had no symptoms. I went to the ER immediately that night (that's how I got the PEP). I spoke with HR at my company and reported the incident. I had bloodwork taken to establish my baseline. I am going at 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months for HIV testing. I followed all the correct steps - I'm just looking for your take on the matter. I've been safe and careful in every way my whole life (I'm a 27yo/male/hetero), so this is something that's keeping me up at night. Thanks again.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: needlestick injury (medical worker)
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2011, 03:40:46 PM »
You never had an exposure.

Offline frankie78

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Re: needlestick injury (medical worker)
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2011, 04:34:21 PM »
but there is a chance (although slim) that the needle was from an infectious patient. and there is another chance (although slim) that the needle was used that day or the day before.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: needlestick injury (medical worker)
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2011, 04:46:55 PM »
You didn't inject anything into yourself. You stated a needlestick.

Offline frankie78

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Re: needlestick injury (medical worker)
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2011, 04:51:47 PM »
that's true - it was a needlestick - a tiny puncture for less than a second on my index finger. but it was enough to cause a hole and cause me to bleed.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: needlestick injury (medical worker)
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2011, 04:56:48 PM »
You had no risk. Take the time to read the bloodborne pathogen guidelines that your company has to keep on file.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: needlestick injury (medical worker)
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2011, 05:03:47 PM »
A needlestick injury is worlds away from the kind of risk which is involved when needles are used for intravenous drug use.

As Rod has told you, you are worrying needlessly. Period.
Andy Velez

Offline frankie78

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Re: needlestick injury (medical worker)
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2011, 08:25:46 PM »
thanks guys - i wish the ER staff was as reassuring - they just put me on PEPs and sent me home

i understand needlestick injuries leading to infection does happen on rare occasion, but it's almost always when a doctor is working on a patient during surgery and is stuck right then and there

if my risk is basically non existent for hiv, would you say the same for hep-c?

thanks again

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: needlestick injury (medical worker)
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2011, 08:35:27 PM »
thanks guys - i wish the ER staff was as reassuring - they just put me on PEPs and sent me home

i understand needlestick injuries leading to infection does happen on rare occasion, but it's almost always when a doctor is working on a patient during surgery and is stuck right then and there

if my risk is basically non existent for hiv, would you say the same for hep-c?

thanks again

HCV is a more robust virus, so generally speaking the risk of being infected with HCV from a needlestick like this is somewhat greater than HIV. If you are concerned about HCV infection speak to a doctor. We are an HIV specific website and, generally speaking, do not deal with HCV related matters.

The HIV risk here is, as the others have told you, non-existent. You don't need PEP.

MtD

Offline frankie78

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Re: needlestick injury (medical worker)
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2011, 08:47:19 PM »
huge relief

Offline frankie78

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Re: needlestick injury (medical worker)
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2011, 10:57:34 PM »
in the rare event that the needle had "dead" hiv infected blood on it, could i show hiv-antibodies on a test and turn up positive? i know i wouldn't be infected with the virus and it can't be "resurrected".

Offline RapidRod

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Re: needlestick injury (medical worker)
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2011, 04:41:30 AM »
No.

Offline anniebc

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Re: needlestick injury (medical worker)
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2011, 07:40:55 PM »
Quote
. The needle was a small 25 gauge needle that was almost completely full of clear fluid. The fact that the syringe was almost completely full makes me think it was not used. Also - the fluid was completely clear - no tint of pink/red from blood.

Because of your first quote this one:

Quote
in the rare event that the needle had "dead" hiv infected blood on it

means nothing, the reason the syringe was thrown away was because they  obviously felt it wasn't needed, and once opened has to be disposed of, many different drugs are use Pre and post Op, it would appear from your account this one was deemed unnecessary.

Most needle stick injuries happen when the tip of the needles just pierces the skin that can and will draw blood, to have a substantial needlestick injury that could possibly come under the heading medium to high risk it would have be if:

 1) the bevel of the needle disappears under the skin, this normally happens if you stab yourself rather than just prick yourself and

 2) the needle had been used on someone who is HIV/HEPC positive.

I think we have already established that the needle wasn't used, and as the guys have already explained to you there was no risk.

Just be aware from now on that when you have to dispose of sharps to be extra careful.

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

Offline frankie78

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Re: needlestick injury (medical worker)
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2011, 09:42:41 PM »
thanks... i appreciate it

my company still wants me to do testing at 30, 60, 90, 180 days

i just did the 30 day hiv/hep test and i was negative for both

Offline frankie78

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Re: needlestick injury (medical worker)
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2011, 09:03:24 PM »
just curious - i tested negative at 30 days... what percent conclusive is testing negative at 30 days?

i know you've all said that the average healthy person seroconverts at 22 days. i take very good care of myself and i'm very healthy.

thanks.

Offline RapidRod

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Re: needlestick injury (medical worker)
« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2011, 09:19:21 PM »
You never had a risk, so any time you test over your needle stick would be conclusive.

Offline frankie78

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Re: needlestick injury (medical worker)
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2011, 04:27:06 PM »
i got a full physical 4 weeks after the needlestick exposure

i tested negative for hiv/hepa,hepb,hepc

but during a lyme screening my ELISA igM was 1.12 (positive) and when they did a western blot the lyme was negative

i understand igM is for new infections... is it possible that i just didn't seroconvert yet? i'm terrified right now

i haven't been sick at all or had any symptoms of anything

Offline Matty the Damned

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Re: needlestick injury (medical worker)
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2011, 04:30:50 PM »
i got a full physical 4 weeks after the needlestick exposure

i tested negative for hiv/hepa,hepb,hepc

but during a lyme screening my ELISA igM was 1.12 (positive) and when they did a western blot the lyme was negative

i understand igM is for new infections... is it possible that i just didn't seroconvert yet? i'm terrified right now

i haven't been sick at all or had any symptoms of anything

We have told you that your incident presents no risk for HIV infection. Your 4 week test confirms that.

We are not a Lyme disease website and we cannot interpret those results for you. If you are asking if Lyme disease can interfere with HIV antibody test results, well it can -- it's can cause an HIV ELISA test to return a false positive not a false negative.

MtD

Offline frankie78

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Re: needlestick injury (medical worker)
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2011, 04:48:35 PM »
my western blot proved igM negative and igG negative for lyme disease, but the ELISA igM test was positive - false positives can be caused for a number of reasons - including HIV

i understand 28 days (actually 26 days because i was on PEPs for 2 days) to test for HIV is a little early - i'm just afraid that i haven't seroconverted yet and that's why the ELISA igM was a false positive - igM is the antibody to test for recently infections

like i've said - physically i feel great and now it's 33 days since i was possibly exposed
« Last Edit: July 18, 2011, 06:44:49 PM by frankie78 »

Offline RapidRod

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Re: needlestick injury (medical worker)
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2011, 08:11:35 PM »
You never had a risk. Please move along.

Offline Andy Velez

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Re: needlestick injury (medical worker)
« Reply #20 on: July 19, 2011, 08:41:23 AM »
A negative western blot result always trumps a positive Elisa result.

You were never at risk to begin with. Doing PEP was totally unwarranted.

You're HIV negative.

If you continue to return here about this non-risk you are going to get a Time Out for at least 28 days. Consider yourself warned.
Andy Velez

 


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