confused nurse

  1. im a bit confused on the whole HCV dry blood scenarios. the infection control nurse at my old hospital stated that even with eczema (small pin head size scabs from scratching) and possibly touching dry blood i have to go through the occupational testing for HCV/HIV. i know its policy but is it really a plausible risk? ive noticed that on the questions that have been asked on this website most people had replied that the risk is minimal to nonexistent. ive had two incidents with dry blood and with both incidents i didn't know how long the blood had been there, with one of the incidents because it was on a coloured surface i wasn't even sure whether it was blood. is she over reacting, do i really need to go through all that testing?
    today i started in a new hospital in emergency. i grabbed the blood pressure cuff off the hook behind the monitor and attached to the patient. later that day i noticed that there was a thin light brownish stain on the hook where the cuff was. i thought it looked like rust and didnt think anything of it as it was a white painted metal hook. later at home i started thinking that it could of been blood smear and then thought about whether i should tell the infection control nurse but i dont know if i even touched it. is it really a risk? had there been any documented case through this way? i know the CDC state that blood is still infectious when dried for 16hours to 4 days but is that more to do with injecting dry blood than touching a surface with cuts that are not bleeding?
    sorry i know there is alot of questions but the old infection control nurse really didnt explain to me and i see so may conflicting arguments. im just really confused
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    About Husky48

    Joined: Feb '13; Posts: 2


  3. by   jadelpn
    Go to the infection control nurse in the current hospital you are working at and ask to have it explained. Ask for the policy regarding exposure. You should be mindful of the process. Especially in the ER. Don't forget your PPE. If you have a significant bleeder, put on a gown!! Takes 2 seconds. And your hands should not be touching anything--GLOVES. ALWAYS. Even if you are just putting equipment away. And wipe everything down as you go. So it you were wearing gloves, and I am assuming in your practice you do, then whether you touched the hook or not is a non-issue. But read up on the policy, and if you have questions, ask!!