Blood exposure worried sick need advice from experienced nurses desperately!!

  1. Hello,
    I am a medical assistant going to school for nursing. While I was working I accidentally picked up a dirty suction tip with my bare hands thinking it was clean. When I looked down I noticed two drops of blood on my index finger. I immediately washed it off, sanitized my hands, and later washed with soap and water. I checked for cuts or "openings" and I didn't see anything. This was not a sharp object and I was not poked. I didn't think anything of it and let it go. A week later I came down with a cold. That's when I started to freak out. I went to my jobs health department and reported the incident. I was told that this was not a true exposure and my symptoms have nothing to do with what happened. I was also told no testing was not warranted for me or the patient. They even told me there recommendation would not have changed even if I would of reported it and came in right when it happened. The patient has no blood born diseases listed in his chart but I am still so worried mostly because I am still sick (2 weeks now) and the definition of intact skin is so broad. What is considered a transmissible cut or opening? I mean I have creases in my hands and normal dry skin? Also, if hiv dies once exposed to oxygen would it still be the case if it drops out of a suction tip/a tube shaped metal syringe? Or would that be a closed tight enough space for it to survive. It was a pretty decent sized suction tip used to clear a nose bleed. I was hoping I could get some advice from the professionals who actually work in the field and who may have stories of their own to maybe help comfort me? Sorry if I sound crazy or uneducated it's the internet that has really put me on edge. Thank you.
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  2. 14 Comments

  3. by   That Guy
    Listen to your jobs health department. Relax.
  4. by   DextersDisciple
    "It's the internet that's put me on edge."

    So stop googling and listen to the professionals
  5. by   Euro_Sepsis
    Nothing to worry about. If your hands didn't sting anywhere after what I assume was liberal amounts of hand sanitizer, then it was plenty intact to act as a barrier from transmission. I was straight up STABBED with a dirty needle by a colleague. That's exposure. Blood on non-broken is not worth the month of post-exposure drugs.
  6. by   elen2018
    Yeah I definelty am trying to! Thanks for your reply.
  7. by   elen2018
    It's funny you say that because I actually put the sanitizer on and waited to feel a sting which I never did lol thank you for your considerate and empathetic reply. I was hoping at least one person would take it easy on me. Thanks again you definitely made me feel better. Hope your exposure had a good ending sure it did.
  8. by   Euro_Sepsis
    Quote from elen2018
    It's funny you say that because I actually put the sanitizer on and waited to feel a sting which I never did lol thank you for your considerate and empathetic reply. I was hoping at least one person would take it easy on me. Thanks again you definitely made me feel better. Hope your exposure had a good ending sure it did.
    No problem, it's distressing until you kinda know when and when not to worry, just like any other clinical situation. So in the future, after a nasty trauma where you have some blood on your intact wrist above your glove line, you'll feel fairly comfortable to just casually and thoroughly wash it off. But you'll also be careful from now on not to pick up things without looking closer at them, or always wearing gloves, or eye pro around someone vomiting, etc.
  9. by   elen2018
    Yes I could not agree with you more. I hope I will be more confident throughout my career. I guess that will come in time and experience. Oh trust me that will never happen again! Your knowledge is very helpful and needed. Thank you for sharing it.
  10. by   FurBabyMom
    I would just listen to the advice you've been given by your providers / employee or student health. I agree with the others, if you didn't have a burning/stinging feeling with sanitizer, you probably didn't have any cuts/open areas.

    I've been stuck (suture needles) and splashed. I've been exposed and needed follow up monitoring. Nothing beside the monitoring came of it. The odds are low in most instances of seroconverting to what you've been exposed to.

    It sucks, but try not to worry about it. I once had to wait several weeks for results regarding what I was exposed to (day surgery patient who was discharged home before it was realized that lab lost the vial we drew of the patietnt's blood). I had to wait until their post op clinic visit for the labs to be drawn... That experience sucked, but I'm still here, and completely fine - no ill effects aside from a few grey hairs.
  11. by   blondy2061h
    Even if you have a penetrating stab from a needle used on a patient with known hiv your chances of contracting the illness are minuscule. The risk you're facing is non existent.
  12. by   elen2018
    Wow I'm glad to hear your ok and everything worked out for you. Thank you for taking the time to share your stories with me. They definitely helped me feel better. Deep down I know my chances are low but just the chance scares me you know? But yeah it does suck.
  13. by   elen2018
    That's what I keep hearing but then I'll read something that says there's a small chance. That's why I wanted to hear from nurses because I feel like I can trust them. Thank you for commenting.
  14. by   Pixie.RN
    Quote from elen2018
    That's what I keep hearing but then I'll read something that says there's a small chance. That's why I wanted to hear from nurses because I feel like I can trust them. Thank you for commenting.
    Just a tip: using the "quote" function when you reply helps us understand which poster you are addressing. And I agree with the others: put down that Google and back away from the internet! You will be fine.

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