Accidental Needle Prick With a Hep C+ Patient

  1. I'm in nursing school and yesterday I was poked by a needle from a patient who was Hep C+...I am freaking out. Another student left an uncapped needle on the med cart and I put my hand down on it, it didn't actually poked me but scrapped my skin. It wasn't deep enough to draw blood but deep enough to see that I got scraped. The needle was freshly used and it was a insulin syringe that she just gave an injection with in her abdomen. What do you think my chances are of getting Hep teacher didn't seem worried but I am so any help would be appreciated thank you.
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    About jamie0110

    Joined: Jan '10; Posts: 13


  3. by   knexx
    You should be fine, if it was a scrape but your skin is intact there is a very tiny chance of contracting Hep C. The only thing you can do is get tested... not much you can do about Hep C if you have it besides manage the effects. Find out your school and or/the facility policy regarding needlesticks. Should be able to get free screening at least.

    Your classmate is an idiot btw.
  4. by   evolvingrn
    most likely your fine but fill out an incident report. the antibody test can take up to 6 months to come back positive i think? and the pcr (which they won't usually do without a postive antibody) takes 3 weeks to show up.
  5. by   czyja
    You definitely must fill out the appropriate paperwork- your student handbook should tell you what to do. Get follow care and testing.

    sorry you have to go through this- what a mess.

    Your classmate is dangerous. Your CI seemed to take this rather lightly. I would let the faculty of record for the course know about this.
  6. by   Amanda.RN
    Make sure you have all of the appropriate paper work filled out. Your school should have insurance available for you to use for the appropriate follow up care. It's important that you follow through with their follow up recommendations. I would also recommend a trip to your primary care doctor to make them aware of the situation and get another opinion, given that your school isn't feeling like it's all that serious. You could also contact your local health department and/or your primary care doctor could contact the Infectious Disease department at your local hospital.

    This other student should be reprimanded. That was a very dangerous mistake. I'm surprised your instructor was so unconcerned by this occurrence. If this happened when I was in nursing school, that student nurse would have failed the clinical on the spot. ...there's no doubt in my mind.

    Best of luck to you.
    Amanda Tillema
  7. by   TheCommuter
    Hepatitis C, an extremely small virus, remains much easier to contract from a needle-stick or 'needle-scrape' than HIV because of its size. Hepatitis C is also one of the hardiest viruses around because it lives outside the body for a long time. I would complete an incident report and perhaps do some follow-up.
    Hepatitis C is extremely small, even for a virus - it is only about 50 nanometers in diameter. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter - if you placed 200,000 hepatitis C viruses end to end, they would be only a single centimeter long.
    Hep C is a very hardy virus that can live outside of the body for some time. There is no 100% guarantee of eliminating the risk of HCV from bleaching or cleaning used syringes.
  8. by   LaughingRN
    Your teacher is right, you really shouldn't worry, but I know that you will anyway. Her casual attitude is a little concerning though.

    1. It was a subQ needle, therefore, tiny bore, possible microscopic blood-no blood at all.

    2. You admit that it was more scraped on your hand as opposed to stuck in your hand, therefore "microscopic blood/no blood" never had contact with your blood, tissue, ect.

    3. Hep C, is definitely transmitted way easier than HIV, But "way easier" means that if you had a large bore needle filled with contaminated blood, stuck way into your would have a 1.87% chance of contacting it, Hiv would be 0.3% in the same yes, way more virulent, but still not very easy to get from a "stick"

    1.87%........Hep C, may be hardy, but it requires a decent amount of virus to be injected into your body AKA blood transfusion, dialysis, needle sharing...This virus actually can't really spread as an STD...think about that!

    4. You have the lowest possible type stick my friend, so sleep easy at night, but in the meantime, get yourself to the schools wellness center and have yourself tested now (for a baseline) and in about 3-6 months, this serves to make you feel better, and it will!

    Not sure if you read my story, but I consider my self pretty educated on this topic now. I have been conversing a lot with one of our ER docs who stuck himself deep with a contaminated central line years ago....very smart guy, and we are now friends and experts

    You can PM me if you'd like
  9. by   turnforthenurse
    You should be fine because there wasn't a break in the skin...but fill out an incident report, just in case. And WHY THE HECK did another student leave a DIRTY USED NEEDLE out in the open on a med card instead of properly discarding it in the sharps container after using it?
  10. by   homecarelpn
    You should kick your classmate in the a double s.
    You should see your PCP.