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possible exposure
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possible exposure

Several days ago, I felt a pinch to my thumb tip  while using hemostats to open up an abscess and then pack the wound with gauze and used scissors to cut the gauze. During the procedure I felt a pinch to my thumb tip from the handle or middle of the hemostats or the scissors I am not sure. It was not a puncture from the tip of the scissors.When I felt the pinch I checked the glove of my thumb and did not see a puncture and finished the procedure which a smear of blood was on the glove. I wore the same gloves through the procedure and checked the gloves 3 times after and could not find a puncture wound. Then, after I washed my hands I noticed a tiny piece of skin on my thumb tip(1-2mm), almost like a small paper cut with no bleeding. That is when I checked the gloves repeatedly and could not find a puncture wound. I did not think this was an exposure but have had severe anxiety since then. I even contacted employee health and they agreed if they was no puncture wound found in the glove this was not an exposure. I guess it is possible to cause an abrasion by pinching over the glove hard enough but I keep doubting myself thinking I missed something and this was an exposure. What do you think? I am still very anxious and my husband and I were going to try to get pregnant but now I am thinking we should wait.
The source patient was a 20yo female with no prior history except abscess in the past.
Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hello,

I agree with you that it is conceivable and theoretically possible to have sustained an abrasion by pinching over the glove (without actually puncturing the glove). And, in general, I agree with the assessment from your employee health point of contact--given the information that provided regarding no evidence of a puncture in your glove. One way to evaluate a glove for a puncture (maybe you did this) is to fill the glove with water and examine the glove for small leaks that may only become visible with filling the glove and stretching it.

With exposures and potential exposure where risk is very low or minimal (but not necessarily zero), CDC does not recommend any additional follow-up, treatment, or precautions.

~ Dr. Parks

This answer provided to you is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice. The information presented in this Medhelp.org posting is for patients’ education only. As always, I encourage you to see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
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Philip D Parks, MD, MPH, MOccH, F...Blank
Cambridge Health Alliance, Harvard Medical School
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