Getting stuck with a used needle...

  1. 0
    what happens next? Do you get bloodwork done? Any medication? I am so scared, i got stuck today, it drew blood.
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  3. 20 Comments so far...

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    Hi Jessica! Welcome to Allnurses!

    Anytime you get stuck with a needle, you should report it IMMEDIATELY to your nurse manager or charge nurse. They will in turn have you go to the ER for bloodwork. You will fill out an incident report on your unit with all the details of what happened. They are supposed to also take blood from the patient to check them for any possible contagious diseases. Never, never, never keep something like this to yourself! You should NOT have left work without having all this done. Take care of this as soon as possible, okay? I'm praying for you.

    Not long after I started working as a nurse, I was stuck by a needle. It was in a secondary line, but I was still made to go through the above steps. The ER also started me on Hepatitis shots in the event the patient's bloodwork showed hepatitis, etc. Fortunately, he didn't have anything that would harm me, and I didn't either. He died the same day though, so........
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    Quote from Jessica1234
    what happens next? Do you get bloodwork done? Any medication? I am so scared, i got stuck today, it drew blood.
    If you get stuck by a needle the first thing you should do is wash the area then notify the charge nurse. You should go to employee health, or the ER if it is an off shift and they will draw your blood to check your Hep B titers and do a rapid HIV test. If the patient's Hep B,C and HIV status is unknown they will contact the patient to test them and offer you meds to prevent the possible transmission of HIV. The ER should have a doc who will counsel you on this.
  6. 0
    Quote from Jessica1234
    what happens next? Do you get bloodwork done? Any medication? I am so scared, i got stuck today, it drew blood.
    Hello Jessica,

    This is not a fun thing, scary, life endangering and downright nerve-wracking.

    It happened to me 10 years ago, (my story later).

    In case you didn't report it right away, do it as soon as possible so that you can have bloodwork or whatever choices your employer provides you after a needle stick. (immunoglobulins or whatever)

    What happened to me was a needle scratch, about 3/4 of an inch long. I went to get blood that the dialysis nurse filled a syringe for, (so I could do a simple glucose test). The needle was re-capped and instead of twisting the cap off, I pulled and voila, recoiled right back and got the 3/4 of an inch scratch. Top it off, I worked at one of the north side of Chicago hospitals, (large gay community) and also worked on the floor that served as the overflow for the AIDS ward, and also that hospital had just recently lost their first nurse to aids that contracted it through the job. This is also the same week that one coworker had bodily fluids splash in her eye and another nurse had dropped a used needle and it stuck him through his sneaker into his foot.

    Yeah, we were indeed all hyper aware, and careful but, unfortunately, these things can happen.

    I swear to goodness, I went right away and had bloodwork drawn and got the Igg, (the patient did not have HIV but, did have other issues) and I also went for so many follow up blood works that the nurse told me to stop coming. I was paranoid. I did have some issues and really had myself scared that I picked up Hep C, really, I just thought deep down that I was contagious and would not share my pop or water or anything with anyone, paranoid.

    10 years later, I calmed down and realize that I did not pick up anything.

    Now for you, try to take a deep breath, and do what you are supposed to -scrub and wash the area, report it, get your bloodwork and discuss options that are available to you.

    Good luck, you are not alone, it is a potentially very big deal. You have things that you can do that are within your power while you wait out to make sure that you have a clean bill of health yourself.

    Genn
    p.s. I did not even admit my scratch to coworkers at my next places of employment until about 8 years later, I truly thought it was bad karma, or I was bad or infected and that it was a dirty secret but, its not, it happens to the best of us. Bellieve me, you will become so very aware of needles and proper procedure and why not use that to help others too?
    Last edit by Gennaver on Jul 25, '05 : Reason: spelling acquire wrong! changed to contracted
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    Thank you everyone that has replyed. I will be taking all of your advice, and i will be soooo careful from now on.
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    Question for all:

    When you get stuck and you don't know if the patient has HIV, HBV, or HCV, is there a law that requires the patient to be tested or can they refuse? I looked and couldn't find this info. I know that if a patient's disease status is not known that PEP should be started anyway.
  9. 0
    there is no law dictating that a patient must have bloods drawn in event of a needlestick in NYS. Other states may be different.... So, basically a patient may refuse.

    Needlestick survivor x2
    --Cashew
  10. 0
    Quote from zacarias
    Question for all:

    When you get stuck and you don't know if the patient has HIV, HBV, or HCV, is there a law that requires the patient to be tested or can they refuse? I looked and couldn't find this info. I know that if a patient's disease status is not known that PEP should be started anyway.
    I am a nursing student in Texas. We were told in school that the patient did not have a choice, and that they would be tested. We were told this by a nurse from our hospital that worked in infection control.
  11. 0
    This also happened to me---TWICE!!!

    Both times I was SO SCARED!! My husband helped me thru this both times. If it wasn't for him & his positive, caring & supportive attitude I don't know what I would have done.

    The first time was a stick with a used accucheck lancet--the old kind that didn't retract. This was many years ago, at the beginnings of the HIV problem. Also in a North Side of Chicago Hospital. The patient was + for Aides & dying. I reprted it immediately & had all the lab work & b/c the pt. was an aides pt, they put me on 6 weeks of medication. It was terrible--made me extremely nauseated all the time.

    The second time was really wierd. A Resident & myself were starting an IV on an HIV pt. who was very hard stick. I was holding the pt's arm & leaning over--it was a really wierd & difficult placement & as the DR. retracted the angiocath, but not all the way & it stuck me. Drew blood. HE WAS HORRIFIED!!! I think he was more scared than I was. The same procedure all over again.

    Like I say, this was very long ago--now I work in still another North Side of Chicago Med Ctr. in the heart of the gay community. My unit gets almost all of the HIV pt's. There isn't a dedicated HIV unit anymore, but we still get most of the HIV pt's anyway.

    I know how freightened you must be because I have been there.
    Hang in there. Pray. Do what ever your employee health people tell you.

    My prayers go out to you.
    Maryy Ann
  12. 0
    Quote from johnjrb
    I am a nursing student in Texas. We were told in school that the patient did not have a choice, and that they would be tested. We were told this by a nurse from our hospital that worked in infection control.

    I agree. This is what I was told as well.


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