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Avatar universal

Needle-Stick Injury

Happy Father's Day to all of the dads here! Hope you guys had, or are having a blast with your kids. I have some questions and would appreciate any help/advice I can get.

I'm an EMT, and two days ago, while doing a diascan on a patient (checking their blood sugar), I stuck myself in the finger with the same lancet used to puncture the patient's finger. I squeezed out some of the blood from my punctured finger, and wiped the area with an alcohol pad. Where I was stationed, and because of some mechanical problems with the ambulance, it was impossible for me to get to the hospital within two hours after the incident. I got to the hospital about 6 hours after, and was started on PEP. I'm on my 2nd day (so far, it's bearable). The patient did not want to go to the hospital for testing, but she said she was HIV- and didn't have Hepatitis, to her knowledge. I do have her name, and contact information, along with where she works. But she seemed honest.

I know the risk was low, but how low of a risk was it? Should I be worried? I know that, ideally, PEP should be started an hour after exposure, and there is a 72 hour window (which isn't recommended to take), but how bad is starting PEP 6 hours after exposure? How much of a risk does a glucometer lancet needle pose? There wasn't much time for the needle to be exposed to the air, as I was stuck almost immediately (about 2 secs later) after pricking the patient. Also, the needle stuck me through my ppe (gloves).

You guys are more versed in this particular topic than most, so there is merit in your advice/insight.

Thanks guys.
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Avatar universal
Thanks James.

I appreciate your insight. Hope you have a great day.

Peace
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I don't really see any concern, unless you used a whole syringe filled with the patient's blood, which is doesn't sound like was used.  Also, I have never seen PEP fail, and once again, since you started it so quickly, I see no reason to assume you won't end up just fine.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Thanks for the response James. Considering all the factors stated, could you give me an idea how high or low the risk is, to begin with? I know the PEP reduces the chances a lot, but I'm trying to determine how low of a risk was there initially, without the PEP consideration. If the risk was already low + the PEP intervention, it would put me at greater ease.

Although there's no telling which end of the spectrum you fall on statistically, knowing the statistics or risks can help cement (or crumble, in worst case scenarios) a hopeful foundation.
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Avatar universal
The fact you started PEP, and started it quickly really should alleviate any fears you have.  I think you'll end up fine.
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