Infected Needlestick - page 4

by blessedRN29

Hi guys, I didn't know exactly where to turn to so I'm posting to help gain some personal insight and to calm my nerves. Yesterday morning around 6 am I was giving a SQ heparin shot in a patient's belly. The patient was... Read More


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    So I'm a nursing student and I'm currently watching a video on needle sticks. It states that if you are wearing latex gloves, about 50% less blood is present on the needle by the time it reaches your skin.
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    Crebs as someone who has been in the position that the OP has been in we know that. I knew that the chance of converting is low (even for me taking blood from a Hep C positive pt). However the rational part of your brain takes a break and the irrational part takes over.

    Thankfully I was sharing a house with another nurse at the time who would keep repeating the facts to me and banned me from googleing rubbish on the internet.

    The 6 months of waiting is very tough and my hospital infectious disease clinic which sees all staff needle sticks is right beside my ward. So I knew the staff there and anyone walking from the ward to collect a pt from the recovery room knew when I waiting for bloods and clinic review.

    OP talk to someone....... I had my flatemate who understood. Talk to a nurse friend who will let you rant irrationaly. Or contact EAP. Take care and stay away from Google. Xoxo
  3. 0
    Stuck myself with an insulin needle and the person turned up Hep C+. (He supposedly didn't even know he was before this.) That was almost exactly a year ago and I am negative. When I did it I searched the forum and didn't come up with anyone who had gotten infected from needle sticks. The chances are extremely low.
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    Sending prayers for a good outcome and positive thoughts your way. I've never had a needle stick, but years ago I went through the process after being advised of an exposure. I know the wait is pure agony and all the thoughts that race through your head are just sickening. My rationale brain knew the stats and recognized that things were beyond my control, but the anxiety was still there. Praise God everything ended up in my favor! Keep the faith.
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    My breath sucked in and my blood ran cold when I read your post, because I came within a hair of going through the same thing, my first month out of nursing school. I was working in an LTC and we had overflow from the rehab floor. I was giving a shot in the arm to an emaciated pt w full-blown AIDS, and I felt the needle nearly break through the skin out the other side, where my fingers were pinching his muscle up. And I, too, told myself before, "Be very very very careful here." It did NOT break through but it was SO close that I just stood there, with that same stunned, blood-draining-from-my-face feeling. I was haunted by that incident for weeks, months... matter of fact it's been nearly 4 years and I've only told one soul about it, my husband, last week. I could not speak of it until that time I was ready. Now all of you know, too.

    I have nothing but the most heartfelt empathy for what you are going through; I'm going to be thinking about you all the time now. Please, please, give us updates as you succeed through the milestones. I'm encouraged by what people are saying about the odds. Trust those odds to find peace in the meantime.
    anotherone, chevyv, and rangerlil like this.
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    I am praying for you. I have had a couple of needle sticks and, thankfully, was not infected. It is embarrassing but I am so glad that you got help right away.
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    In 1996, I was stuck in the palm of my hand by an ABG needle that was used to draw gasses on an HIV pt & was accidently left in the bed. I came along later that day & turned the pt. over to do a dsg. change & "found" the sharp. I was in shock that a coworker could have been so careless, then anger set in when my Charge nurse told me I would have to wait until the end of my 12 hr. shift to seek treatment. Anyways,,,the next year was anxiety ridden everytime I had to go get tested. Meanwhile the pt. also died a few months after I was stuck. Now here's the good news. It's been 17 years & I'm OK, I quit doing HIV screening & haven't thought about what happened for several years, but I remember how rough that first year was. Be kind to yourself, allow yourself time to process all the emotions you are experiencing. Hope this is helpful in some way.

    Quote from blessedRN29
    Hi guys, I didn't know exactly where to turn to so I'm posting to help gain some personal insight and to calm my nerves.

    Yesterday morning around 6 am I was giving a SQ heparin shot in a patient's belly. The patient was really thin so I had to try to grab a lot and I remembered telling myself to make sure I do not get stuck! Well I successfully administered the shot but the patient moved so when the needle was coming out he bled a little from the site and with the movement I poked myself on the left hand through my latex glove. I was frozen for about 15 sec cause I could not believe it!!

    When I came out of my trance and lifted my glove I was bleeding and went to the sink and washed my hands and bled for like 2 minutes even though it was a small prick. I thought I was always so careful! Well needless to say the patients history is HIV+ and hep C+ and I am so distraught. I was so embarrassed I didn't tell my charge nurse I just waited until 715 and told my assistant nurse manager in confidence and she told me what to do.

    I went to the employee clinic and had base blood work drawn his blood work indicated that he did have HIV with counts greater than 50 and Hep C+. She put me on a high dose 14 day aggressive regimen of combivir 1 pill 2x a day and kaletra 2 pills 2x a day. Guys not only do I need help from fellow nurses but also your prayers I know the statistics to catch anything is very low but I am so worried.

    Has anyone else been through this? I have to get checked in 2 weeks 6 weeks 3 mos 6 mos 9 mos and 1 year. I will definitely keep you posted and any feedback would be greatly appreciated!!!
    GrnTea and anotherone like this.
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    Go to the CDC website. The risk of HIV infection from a single (needlestick) bloodborne pathogen exposure is very small--0.3% if the source is HIV positive. Hep B virus is somewhat higher--6%-30%, depending on HBeAB. However, as a health care worker, you have likely received Hep B vaccine and are immune. Hep C risk from a single exposure is 1.8%. The numbers don't matter, but you can look it up on CDC. Be sure to have your follow up labs at 6 weeks, 3 months and 12 months. If this should ever happen again, RUN, don't walk to your supervisor and be seen by your medical provider within one hour of the needlestick. HIV chemoprophylaxis is elected, it ideally should be started within 1-2 hours following the needlestick.

    In our clinic we usually do not recommend HIV chemoprophylaxis unless the patient requests it. It has significant side effects, and the risk of infection is low. That is a decision for you and your PCM to make together.
    anotherone likes this.
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    Your charge nurse was wrong, per Occupational Health guidelines. You should have seen a provider immediately.
    GrnTea likes this.
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    I'm so sorry you are going through this. Sending prayers your way. From the other posts, I think you will be just fine. What a nightmare for you to have to deal with.


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