HIV - Prevention Expert Forum
Worried after having blood drawned at lab
About This Forum:

This forum is limited to prevention of HIV and to safe sex in general. All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

Worried after having blood drawned at lab

Hello, I hope you canhelp me ease my mind. I am worried about the following: Today I had some blood tests taken at a reputable lab. They took 3 samples into 3 different test tubes (I'm pretty sure they were the sealed kind of tubes). But what morries me is that the lab nurse brought those tubes and a piece of cotton on a metal small plate (kind of kidney shaped), which I noticed had some reddish stains (looked like blood to me, looked dry also but I'm not sure). The needle was new and taken from a drawer and she stuck the needle on my arm as always, and then proceeded to change tubes 2 more times keeping the needle in. He only had one glove on (on the hand he used to change the tubes and with the other hand stuck the needle on me. after this, he took a piece of cotton from the metal dish/plate and put it on the little wound from the needle prick and told me to hold it while he took a band aid and when he was putting it on I told him to please put me some alcohol and change the cotton for another one. So my worry is if the test tubes and/or cotton that was put on my arm just after the blood was drawn touched the red stains I mentioned... There were no blood filled tubes that I could see around, so I don't know how long since the last patient had had blood drawn.Would I be at risk for HIV because of this episode, supposing the stains were actually from infected blood. I'm not sure how long could that stain have been there. Is there any risk from this? Also I am having surgery on friday (a hair transplant). I know of a very high risk gay man that has had the same surgery there. So I will be sitting on the same chai, using the same remotefor tv, etc, ant there will be a lot of my blood involved so that's the scary part. The doctor does ask all patients for an HIV prior to surgery (a simple AB test however) so it could happen that a patient could be in window period I suppose. He also says all instruments are disposable or sterilized. He performs surgerydaily.Any Risk?

Tags: lab, Blood, bloodstain, needle, drawing blood, drawn blood, blood test, surgery, Hair transplant
239123_tn?1267651214
Based on the title of your question, you are not at risk for HIV. It is probable that nobody has ever acquired HIV from having blood drawn,, at least not in the last 20 years.

That's all I'm going to say unto you modify your question to follow one of MedHelp's basic rules. The reason for the 2000 character limit is to require the entire question to the brief. The moderators should have neither the time nor interest in reading such long questions!  In the 8+ years of this forum, I have never seen a question that could not be easily asked with 2000 character, and usually 1000 (about 200 words) is plenty.  Condense your question and post it as a comment below, and I may have some further comments. In the meantime, you probably can safely assume that you are not at risk of HIV from having your blood drawn.

HHH, MD
9 Comments
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Please adress both parts of my post, a) the lab incident and b) the surgey procedure part. I need to be calm while I wait for my operation and when I'm having it done.

As for "a":I know that HIV doesn't survive for long outside the body but I don't know for how long those stains had been there. I was appointed several tests because I am undergoing a hair transplant surgery so had al the tests taken at once. Is there any risk at all especially regarding the cotton that was on the stained plate and then put on my needle wound? The plate had a couple of stains, it is not as if it was dripping blood either.

As for "b", I am worried because the gay patient this doctor had was once involved in a car accident and had legal trouble for DUI and refused to get his blood drawnedfor a test (this could be for a number of reasons) But in his defense, before the judge he said that he didn't accept the blood test because he had an illness he didn't want to disclose. That's all I know, he went to prison anyway for running over a person while drunk and refusing to take the test. Maybe it was just a defense tactic, I don't know but anyway makes me nervous, and he is a well known confirmed gay person that appears on TV. I don't know how long since he had surgery there either but I suppose it has been a while. The doctor says he wouldn't perform aesthetic hair surgery on an HIV+ because it is too much risk for him and his team. Do you see any reason for concern here? I'm undergoing surgery on Friday.

Thank you and sorry for the long post.

Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I would also like to point out that this doctor performs hair surgery almost every day and has been doing it for years now and is well known. Never heard of any trouble with him, in fact I had a prior surgery with him in late 2007.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Sorry. I'll condense my question. I got blood drawned at a reputable lab. 3 different samples were needed for different tests so the nurse had to change 3 times the test tubes while keeping the needle inside my arm (they were the sealed kind i'm pretty sure).
What worries me is that I noticed that the nurse had brought the test tubes and a piece of cotton on a metalic small plate. When he picked up the cotton and put it on my arm after taking the needle out, I noticed reddish stains on the metal plate that looked like blood (I'm not sure if it was dry or not and can't know how long the stains had been there). So I am worried that the test tubes, and especially the cotton could have touched infected blood on the plate and then passed it into my bloodstream by contact of the testtubes through the needle or especially by contact of the cotton and my needle wound. After a few seconds when he told me to hold it for a while so he could put a bandaid on top, and I noticed the stains, I told him to rub me some alcohol and use another cotton, so he just rubbed a tiny bit of alcohol and did that. But the first cotton did touch the needle wound for a while and was even pressed a bit. (The needle was new and taken out of another drawer by the way).  Am I at HIV risk from this incident? Thank you
Blank
239123_tn?1267651214
Thanks for the condensed question.

The procedures you describe don't sound especially abnormal.  While it isn't ideal that there may have been blood on the tray, my guess is it wasn't blood at all.  A very common disinfectant for blood drawing is povidone-iodine, which is red-brown and on quick glance can look like blood.  But even if blood were present, there really isn't any worry.  First, the vacuum tubes have indented tops; it would be unusual for blood to contact the part of the tube that would be punctured as your blood were drawn.  Second, even if that happened, the flow of blood is from you into the tube; it cannot possibly go the other direction.

For those reasons, it is clear you were not in the least at risk for HIV from this event.  And as noted above, nobody has been known to have caught HIV from having blood drawn, at least not in the past 2 decades.  You're not going to be the first.  I urge you to not worry about this and to not be tested for HIV or other blood-borne infections if you are not otherwise at risk.

I hope this has helped.  Best wishes--  HHH, MD
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Thank you doctor, your comment did help. I am not 100% the stains in the tray were blood either but they looked like it and since they are used for this purpose of course it was my first guess.

However you commented on the tubes but not on the piece of cotton that was also on the metal tray and then put on my puncture wound almost at the same time the needle came out... what about that part of the question please? also no risk?

Thanks again
Blank
239123_tn?1267651214
Even cotton contaminated with HIV-infected blood would not transmit infection in this circumstance.  Do your best to think objectively about this and stop worrying about outlandishly unlikely scenarios.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Many thanks for your answers, they have been very helpful.
Please, I would like to ask 1 last question if you are so kind.
The reason for me getting blood drawned at that lab is because tomorrow I am undergoing a hair transplant surgery and the doctor ordered those tests.He tests every patient for HIV before conducting surgery (but only asks for regular tests). He also says all equipment is either disposable or sterilised which i suppose is true.He performs surgery almost every day for many years now (one patient per day), this is my second time going there since 2007. He usually finishes around 8-9 pm and I am entering at 2 pm tomorrow (Friday).
What worries me is if one of his patients was on his window period and the test didn't catch it, and what worries me more is that I know about a very, very high risk gay man who has had surgery there. He has even hinted he had a disease when after an accident driving drunk he refused to let his blood drawned for alcohol testing by the police. He is also known to be close friends with many HIV+ gay men. I think it was some time ago he had surgery there but not really sure when or if more than once. So while undergoing surgery I'm going to be sitting on the same operation chair, using the same remote for TV,etc. When I asked the doctor he said that that person did not have HIV (at least at the time of the operation) and that he would not perform aesthetic hair surgery on an infected person because it is too much risk for him and his crew and not an emergency procedure.
Should I be calm during and after the surgery and can I be confident there is nothing to worry about? This guy I'm especially concerned about is not the regular gay guy, he's actually very creepy.
This is my last post in this thread and I really hope you can answer it so I can be relaxed about the surgery if that's the case.


Blank
239123_tn?1267651214
These comments do not change my opinion or advice. You definiteily should "be calm during and after the surgery and can I be confident there is nothing to worry about".

This thread is over.
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
This Forum's Experts
239123_tn?1267651214
H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D.Blank
University of Washington
Seattle, WA
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
469720_tn?1388149949
Blank
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm-treatable... Blank
Oct 04 by Lee Kirksey, MDBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank