help! My g/f stuck herself... - page 2

Hello all, I hope this is the right forum for this. She is an ICU RN, ~1yr out of school. A few nights ago she messed up somehow and stuck herself in her thumb with a needle after drawing blood... Read More

  1. by   TazziRN
    HIV is a big sticky, that's one test that requires a separate consent. If the pt is unable, the doctor can order it in CA.
  2. by   Malloy
    Thanks for the replies everyone. The patient is in fact low risk, and I believe communication directly with him is impossible for multiple reasons. From what I was told, a seperate 'permission' must be granted for HIV testing. I apologize if I do not have the story 100%, but I think Im close.

    BSN: Im obviously worried about her health. When I mentioned 'statistics' I was hoping for something like, ".0005 % of nurses who get stuck with a low risk needle contract HIV" or something similar. While she was (again) obviously worried about that, she seemed more worried about her job status. She was very emotional (as well as sick) and its not the best time of the month for such trauma.

    Thanks again everyone!!

    Quote from BSNtobe2009
    However, I do find it odd you are more concerned for her job than her health.
    Last edit by Malloy on Oct 29, '06
  3. by   fins
    Malloy,

    This should be a reassuring staticstic: Less than 1% of nurses who get stuck with a sharp contaminated by a HIGH risk patient develop the illness. (I was stuck last January - I found that very reassuring.) So, if the patient was low risk, your gf is basically at more risk during the drive to work than she is from that needlestick.

    Oh, and what everyone else said is also true. Sticks happen - it's just one of the hazards of nursing, (like herniated disks from lifting overweight patients, or eyestrain from spending too much time on nursing bulletin boards.) Unless she was basically juggling contaminated sharps, or something else egregiously negligent, nobody's going to think less of her as a nurse.
  4. by   TazziRN
    Quote from fins
    eyestrain from spending too much time on nursing bulletin boards.
    So that's why my glasses won't work......
  5. by   traumaRUs
    IL also has a law that if you are a patient, you automatically consent to testing if there is a needlestick involved. No permission necessary.
  6. by   Tweety
    Quote from WantobeRN
    I dont understand this. Doesnt this nurse have a right to find out if she is at risk for transmitting disease? Does she really need conset from her family? I dont think this hospital needs family consent if they need to do blood work like CBC, electrolyte do they? Cant doctor write an order to check for HIV or hepatits?

    Not everywhere. In Florida, patients must consent and be counseled prior to being tested. As I said here in Florida if a patient refuses to be stuck, then if they have blood in the lab we are allowed to do that for the protection of the worker.
  7. by   BSNtobe2009
    Quote from truern
    At my hospital the form you sign in the ED/on admission is only consent for treatment. Any testing for HIV requires a separate consent and is only used in the event of a needlestick.
    Yup, that is what they have at the hospitals and doctor's offices around here....the consent for HIV and Hepatitis testing is only in the event of a needlestick or other direct contact with bodily fluids.
  8. by   dacryocystitis
    I believe the chance of getting HIV from a needle stick (with a patient who actually has been confirmed HIV+) is 0.03%. I think the change of getting Hepatitis C from a needle stick (again from a patient who has been dx'd with Hep C) is 3%.

    I could be slightly wrong on these numbers....but I'm pretty sure it's close to what I said.

    Tell her to contact the ID physician or occupational health.
  9. by   paccookie
    Quote from Malloy
    Hello all, I hope this is the right forum for this.

    She is an ICU RN, ~1yr out of school. A few nights ago she messed up somehow and stuck herself in her thumb with a needle after drawing blood from a patient. (elderly man) I understand there are saftey devices that have dramatically reduced the number of these incidents. Anyways, they tried to get in touch with his family for permission to screen his blood...but they can not be found. She supposedly has to wait 6 months to know either way about HIV...

    Aside from being worried about HIV, hepatitis or any other terrible thing that can be contracted, she is also worrying about this move jeopardizing her job.

    As far as I know, she has had a flawless record, and is held in high regard overall. She is worried about this really hurting her reputation.

    Do you have any insight on this? Are there any statistics out there that may set her at ease? I apologize for coming on here with this question (as I'm clearly not a nurse) but I wanted to do something to possibly make her feel better. Thanks in advance
    Doesn't the Ryan White Act apply to situations like this? She should have immediately gone to employee health and they should have had the patient tested immediately, as well as drawing some baseline labs on your girlfriend. This sort of thing is a very big deal. I agree with the others who said she should be more concerned about her health than her job. I hope everything works out for her.

    CG
  10. by   Malloy
    Quote from paccookie
    I agree with the others who said she should be more concerned about her health than her job. I hope everything works out for her.
    She is more concerned with her health....but I think she has exhausted her options in this dept. She def followed hospital protocol for such incidents and I know they drew her blood. She should have some word Monday.

    ps. We are in PA.
  11. by   Raven1970
    My heart goes out to her. Her supervisor should have IMMEDIANTLy sent her to ER for a risk analysis for the pt and herself. Each ER/comp dr has a book by the CDC which states what catagory they are in high low med... It is up to the INDIVIDUAL Nurse to determine what is best for his/her self. they do have a window-or did a few years ago for taking the HIV prophylaxsis drugs which reduce the risk by 80% of contracting HIV. You cannot determine by looking at someone if they have HIV,AIDS,Hepatitis or a handful of other critters that we are routinely exposed to. Hopefully she has had the Hep B vaccine series already which will cut her chances of contracting that. The lab should-paid for by workmans comp-draw hiv,hep,ect panel on her and the pt. When a pt is admitted to the hospital-which may differ by state or facility-they sign a permission to treat. this usually contains a permission in the event of clause...you can test for hiv, hep,ect. This is usually Standard operating procedure to protect healthcare staff while protecting the privacy of the pt AND the staff member who got stuck. Several years ago I did get an exposure. the pts first test came back positve for hiv-she we all new had a form of hepatitis. I had to chose within 2 hrs to take or not take the drugs. Which are drugs you do not lightly take. One of these drugs was originally used as a chemo drug and makes you very ill. You take these drugs for 28 days. you get tested at specific intervals for 1-2 years. They retested my pt and on day 27 of me taking the drugs she came back neg. My world and how I perceived it had changed though. She needs to protect herself , but she also needs to protect you until the pt comes back negative. It WILL cause both of you worry-and she will never look at a needle the same again. It all likely hood the pt was negative and so is she. I have seen nurses who got stabbed with 10ml of hot blood and never contracted it. I have the utmost respect for my brothers and sisters in this field. We work daily in a hotzone-some known-often not. Most people do not realize what a nurse's job entails. Or think of it as dangerous. She should not be afraid to do her job-just aware.I wish both of you luck.
  12. by   Malloy
    No kidding! I'm a business schlepp who had NO CLUE of what a 'nurse' really does. Hats off to all...we really need ya!!

    Quote from Raven1970
    Most people do not realize what a nurse's job entails. Or think of it as dangerous.
  13. by   KungFuFtr
    For all you stats fans...

    Single needle stick:
    Hepatitis 40% infection chance
    HIV .5%

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