Needle Stick!

  1. Unfortunately today at work I got stuck with a SQ needle when a pt. suddenly moved while I was withdrawing the syringe. As you can well imagine I'm upset and worried.

    Although I saw no visable signs of blood and I was wearing gloves, I immediately washed my hand and rinsed it with betadine. Then reported it to my manager and was sent to employee health. The MD there advised me that it was a fairly low risk exposure and that I shouldn't be worried, but of course I would recieve follow-up for HIV,Hep B, and C. I was told that risks of HIV post-exposure tx outweigh the benefits in this case and was advised against starting the regimen.

    Does anyone have any advice of how they dealt with a needle stick and what helped them get through "waiting it out."
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   P_RN
    Three times in over 30 years I have been stuck. The last was a surgeon putting in a triple lumen who wanted to flush his own ports...and then reached out toward me with the bloody needle. This was in the early 90's.

    I cried, cried, cried. I went to the ER and was told there was nothing they could do. I raised He**. The got the infectious disease doctor to come in. He offered me all the meds, and at the time I chose not to due to the side effects and potential injury.

    I regret that to this day. I put myself and my family in grave danger. I can't tell you what to do. I just wish you well. And God Bless.

    P
  4. by   purplemania
    I got stuck several years ago and the employee health nurse, offering assurance, said since the pt. was a 69 yr old white female the chances of infection were small. I told her she was a 69 yr old retired phlebotomist who never wore gloves and worked before/after the AIDS crisis began. Anyway, I sweated it till I got my tests back then put it out of my mind. All you can do is all you can do. I am exposed to resp. problems much more frequently anyway. Read the stats. Chances are you are safe. Best wishes.
  5. by   Zee_RN
    Did they ask the patient if they could test him/her for HIV, Hepatitis? Would certainly make it easier for you to rest if you were assured that they were, at this time, negative. There's still the worry that they had been exposed less than 6 months ago but still...every little bit of assurance has to help. I'm assuming this is not a high risk individual.

    Whenever we have an employee stuck, we try to get permission to test the patient. I've yet to have anyone refuse the test.

    While you may know in your mind your risk is minimal, I know it troubles you. My prayers are with you, and I pray for peace of mind as well as health of body for you.
  6. by   hoolahan
    Absolutely, they MUST test the pt for you, it would be a great relief for you.

    If it helps, I was stuck in 1982 with an needle of a known HIV pt, after giving subq vit K for bleeding! The damn needle went through the cap, we were supposed to recap needles back then.

    Anyway, I went to the sink, "milked out and "bled" my finger until I could get no more boold out, washed and scrubbed with betadine. And guess what? I never reported it, b/c back then, there was such a stigma of AIDS, that if I got it, I wouldn't want anyone to know. What a fool I was BUT a very very lucky fool.

    In 1994, I got splashed in the eye with platelets, when my over-eager orientee didn't have the adapter in the stopcock all the way and when I went to look at it, it started to spurt all around the edges and into my eye. Now remember how many donors go into platelets, and this was 10 units worth in the bag. I was freaked. I guess it was the testing nowadays that saved me, this time I reported it.

    There is hope, but follow up with your own testing as well.

    I became PPD+ in 1997, I was 35, the border-line age to take the prophylaxis, I chose not to, I am fine.

    Just keep up with the follow up.
  7. by   semstr
    Horribel feeling!
    I stuck myself a few times during my career, before HIV, the big worry was hep.B,then it was (is) HIV.

    Whenever you stick yourself, help bleeding your finger or whatever out, as long as you can take it. Then put a desinfectant on it and go to Er or who ever is in charge for the medical personel. The patient has to be tested, of course asked to, I never had a patient refusing though.

    Is tb an item again in the States? Here it is coming back more and more. We've had 2 students in the last year who had to be hospitalized after gettting tb from patients.

    Take care, Renee
  8. by   nicola
    TB is a major issue, but seems to be more of a prevention issue than a treatment issue... It gets complicated with immigrants who have had the BCG vaccine.

    I worked with HIV+ populations and for them TB is also a huge issue. Had several people on directly observed therapy (DOT). One in particular had to be threatened with "TB jail" if he didn't comply. And, yes, we have such a thing in NYC!!!

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