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OCCUPATIONAL NEEDLESTICK
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OCCUPATIONAL NEEDLESTICK

I am a nurse appromimately 4 days ago during a code another nurse accidently pricked the side of my arm with a needle from the patient. I did not think anything about it until today. The skin was not broken and I did not bled. I don't know is the patient is HIV POS OR NOT. iT IS TOO LATE BECAUSE THE PATIENT IS DEAD. If the patient was Hiv positive what are the chance of me getting hiv from this. I did not take any meds. The pricked was superficial. I am so worry sick about this. I can not sleep nor eat. Please help me.
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239123_tn?1267651214
Sorry, I cannot help much.  I'm an expert on sexual transmission of HIV, not on occupational exposures.  But the risk is extremely low, probably zero, since you did not bleed (even if the patient had HIV).  And even if the source patient has died, it should be possible to review his or her medical records to learn whether s/he had HIV or was at risk.

Your employer undoubtedly provides occupational health services that are prepared to deal with this.  That is who you should be speaking with, not a distant online advice forum.  You have a responsibility to yourself to do that; undoubtedly that person will reassure you as I have.  You also should inform your supervisor of the event, if you have not done so.  In the meantime, don't worry.  Probably nobody in the world has ever caught HIV from the sort of exposure you describe.  Ever.

Good luck--  HHH, MD

14 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
I was worried about the same thing, an accidental needle poke. I learned from the support forum that it has to be a very deep poke. Kind of like the needle stabbing you. I think that the doctor will say that there is no risk.
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Avatar_n_tn
I hope the doctor will say there is no risk. I am about to go insane. I don't know what to do. Exactly how was your stick
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Avatar_m_tn
Well mine is a little more complicated and weird. I have an HIV phobia and its a long story and you would have to just read about it. Check out the post.

http://www.medhelp.org/posts/show/238353
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79258_tn?1190634010
If the skin wasn't broken, then it wasn't a needlestick. You weren't at any risk.  And even if it had broken the skin, it might help you to know that another nurse who posts regularly on these boards had a deep needlestick, and she was told that wasn't a PEP-worthy exposure. But if you're still freaked out, you might consider talking to your occupational health person, and possibly a counselor as well.

I also think these kinds of "risks" are inevitable if you're working in a hospital. As long as you're a nurse, I'm pretty sure you're always going to be around needles and around blood. I'm sure you're also always going to have HIV positive patients. So, if you're this worried about being touched by a needle that didn't even break the skin, you might want to consider whether this is the profession or location for you. I don't mean that in a bad way, just that not all jobs are for everyone.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have a fear of  Hiv also. I was surfing the web one day and came across occupational exposure to Hiv and ever since I have a fear this is going to happen to me. so 4 days ago at work i was pricked by a needle now i am scared out my mind. ever since i was surfing the web in january i have had 5 hiv tests. all negative. i take my temp everyday. this hiv fear is going to drive me crazy!
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Avatar_m_tn
Thats how i am, did you read my post. I have always been scared to and i think thats it totally went to my head to where im thinking that i got poked by a needle when in acuality i probably didnt. I keep thinking over and over in my head did i get poked and i cant get it out. I remember that night well and i dont remember feeling any needle poke and when i started to dig for the needle i never found one. I think that you can be so scared of something that your mind starts to play tricks on you. Like if you are so scared of ghosts or something and i bet you can walk in a room and always see something and you swear you saw a ghost. With me i was always aware and scared about HIV so when i threw that trash away that night something just popped in my head, "what if i got poked my a needle and i didnt realize it" and thats why i started to look in the trash can just to make sure there wasnt a needle there. I made an appointment with a shrink because i know that i cant live like this forever always sacred of something thats all probably just in my head. I am going to get a test at the 6 week mark and if its negative i am just going to try and forget about it forever and continue with the therapy.
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Avatar_m_tn
what kind of test have you taken, were they the Oraquick Advance Finger Poke test.
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Avatar_n_tn
I agree with you actually, I am going back to school to get my masters in public adm. This is not the career for me. I have discuss this with my husband and I don't want to live my life in fear. So you you are telling me that a superficail poke isnt a risk at all.
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Avatar_n_tn
They were the Oralquick test that you have to swab your gums. It is easy and fast. Resutls in 20 mins. The first test I did a blood test.
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Avatar_m_tn
Well i think that for needlesticks to be a risk it has to be a very very deep poke.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm sure you are fine. It probably isn't even a risk at all. I worry all the time as you do. I have often seen the doc say that a six week test is conclusive. I wonder if this is the same for occupational exposures as well as any other non sexual exposure .I can only imagine it is .I can probably think of 100 things a day that make me think i've been exposed...ex. getting scratched by a sharp object...it makes me so upset.  Get a test in six weeks to ease your mind but don't worry you'll be fine. best of luck.
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Avatar_n_tn
Update: It's been three weeks and on Thursday I took my temperature and it was 100.5, but I was just coming from outside from about 5 mins. Then 30 mins later I take my temp again and It was 97.9. Is this classified as a ARS FEVER OR WOULD IT LAST LONGER AND HOW MUCH LONGER WOULD IT LAST. Im going crazy about this 100.5 temp.
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239123_tn?1267651214
Not ARS.

See my original reply about your institution's occupational health service.  That is the only appropriate place for questions like this.

I deleted your attempt at a new thread, which was inappropriate.  Only a limited number of new questions can be accommodated daily, and unnecessary ones block others with more pertinent questions.

This thread is closed.
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