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Avatar universal

Blood Drawn Procedure

Doctor

Yesterday, I went to a Lab Corp to have my blood drawn.  I am a bit of a germaphobe, so I was paying attention to the Phlebotomist as she prepared the needle,  She showed the different seals and safety procedures to prevent contamination.  I was keeping my eye on the needle as she cleaned my arm with alcohol before she drew the blood,  The procedure seemed to go smoothly.  However, at the end I notice that one of finger tips of her glove was broken.  I was concerned so I question her.  She said that she did our purpose because I have small veins that she was not able to find one through the glove.  She pointed out that she had re-cleaned my arm with alcohol, as well, as her finger (I did not see her do this).  She made sound like this a standard procedure for patients who have hard to fine veins.  I have no idea if she had any problems with her exposed finger, cuts, sore etc..  I did not see any blood.  I did not see her touch the needle.  I assume you should not touch the needle even if you are wearing gloves.

Do find my experience out ordinary?
Am I at risks for catching a blood infectious disease such HIV or Hep C.  
Can HIV or Hep C live on the fingers, and could her exposed finger transfer any disease it to the needle?
Do I need to go a doctor?
I am married and do want to anyone in my family at risks?
Do you have any recomendations?

Thanks.
3 Responses
300980 tn?1194929400
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Welcome to our Forum.  Your questions are ones that we receive variants on just about every week.  Before I address your specific questions, let me provide some general information.  Most importantly, procedures for drawing blood are strictly regulated and the technicians who draw blood are both repeatedly trained and have to undergo periodic recertification as to their procedures and techniques.  Further, I should point out that there is virtually no risk for transferring infectious organisms such as HIV, hepatitis C, or other microorganisms from person to person on someone's hands and the reasons gloves are worn is to protect the blood drawers, not the patients (this is surprising to many of our clients).  Thus, I would have no concerns about the events you describe and see no reason for concern or for testing.  With these backgrounds statements let's address your questions:

Do find my experience out ordinary?
While using a bare finger to detect veins is not a recommended procedure, it is rather common, particularly for persons with fine or hard to detect veins.

Am I at risks for catching a blood infectious disease such HIV or Hep C.
No.
  
Can HIV or Hep C live on the fingers, and could her exposed finger transfer any disease it to the needle?
These viruses begin to die almost immediately after exposure to air.  They become non-infectious even before they are dead (they are "weakened").  Thus you are not at risk from her exposed finger.

Do I need to go a doctor?
I see no medical reason for seeking medical attention related to the events you describe.

I am married and do want to anyone in my family at risks?
No, there is no risk to your family at all.  This includes unprotected sexual contact with a regular partner.

Do you have any recomendations?
I would not worry about this.  

I hope these comments are helpful to you. EWH
Avatar universal
Thanks Doctor.  I was suprised to hear that the Phlebotomist's wear gloves to protect themselves and not the patients.  She was concerned about finding a vein and did not want to stick me twice.  

Thanks again for your help..
300980 tn?1194929400
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
Glad to help. EWH
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