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Fear of Hepatitis from Blood Draw Test
I got some blood drawn (stupidly as the reason for it was something that cleared up anyway and unlikely to reveal anything, but I scared my new doctor I guess, my old one would have told me to go home and wait another week or two). Now I'm worried about hep B and C from the blood draw (this was in Canada) as it was the end of the day and the healthcare worker would have seen dozens of patients before. She used gloves and presumably new needle but I've seen studies on the Net about patient to patient transmission where all safety protocols were followed as the virus can live in invisible drops of blood. Over the next 4 days I've had an uncomfortable, somewhat intermittent ache throughout the arm (no bruising or visible skin signs) and also later on aches in the other arm and legs (but mostly in the arm where the blood was drawn). Also some nausea after eating and mild headache, no fever. If we don't even know why these viruses sometimes get transmitted, even rarely, from patient to patient , how can one feel safe getting a blood test?
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1760304 tn?1316457159
Dear scorpion1999

Thanks for writing in.

Presently, all good hospitals follow universal precautions while performing any procedure including drawing blood. Hence, nosocomial or hospital based transmission is rare in the setup of a modern hospital. As you may have read, the chances of transmission are high if there is visible blood and a high viral load in the contaminated blood.

Most of the cases of unknown acquisition of infection are due to a forgotten past contact with blood and blood products, sometimes among the household contacts.

The symptoms that you have described can be of any infection and are nonspecific. HBV (Hepatitis B Virus) or HCV (Hepatitis C virus) have an incubation period of weeks and usually do not produce symptoms so early.
Please put aside all concerns and have a healthy and happy life ahead.

Hope that this information helps and hope that you will get better soon.

Thank you for using MedHelp's "Ask an Expert" Service, where we feature some of world's renowned medical experts in their fields. Millions have benefitted from our service to get personalized advice for them and for their loved ones.

Best Regards,
Dr. Poorna Chandra
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