Needle Stick! OMG!

  1. Yes, I have done the unthinkable.........me of all folks.......OB/employee health nurse. How could this happen to me?
    I was helping out of the floor. Went to give IV meds, and No i really don't know if there was blood backed up in the port. I flushed the port w/ 3cc NS, gave the IV Lasix, and started to flush the port again. The patient jerked her arm away and the needle stuck into my thumb, deep. Crap it hurt and pissed me off too.
    NO we don't use a needleless system at our small rural south ga hospital.

    Finished w/ the patient, finger bleed freely, I washed it with antibacterial soap, went thru the protocol.......drug test, alcohol test, HIV and Hep test...........incident report......etc..........
    The doc had the patient tested for Hep. He said he wasn't worried about HIV.......

    So, here's my question..........pt. background......80 year old female.....never had a blood transfusion.

    After I did all of that, the infection control person says.......do you want to take the medicine for AIDS/HIV.........well I didn't.......I didn't think it was necessary and wasn't sure of side effects or even haven't heard much about this.

    Was i wrong? What would you have done?
    BTW.......my hep has come back neg.........don't know when the HIV will return.
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  2. 33 Comments

  3. by   ShandyLynnRN
    "The doc had the patient tested for Hep. He said he wasn't worried about HIV....... "

    What?!?!

    I realize that this lol is a very unlikely person to have hiv, but STILL!!! What is the harm in testing her? It isn't going to hurt her any, and could prove vital for you! I mean, I think I would have probably forgone the treatment as well, given the situation, but I would still want to know! Sheesh! We are taught to not go by what someone looks like, or their socioeconomic situation, etc, for whether or not they MIGHT be hiv positive, we follow universal precautions because you JUST DON'T KNOW. I would really push to get her tested. Yes, it is very unlikely, but you just never know.

    I am truly sorry to hear that you got stuck! Maybe as the employee health nurse you could push for a needleless system? I pray everything goes alright for you.

    Shandy
  4. by   sunnygirl272
    i got a needle stick many yrs ago from a bg lancet ...when i asked the doc tohave her tested, he said " she's a nice lady, i'm sure she's fine" i reminded him that even nice people can be HIV+, and that she had had transfusions prior to universal testing...he had her tested!!!!
  5. by   NurseDianne
    I am truly sorry to hear that you got stuck! Maybe as the employee health nurse you could push for a needleless system

    Thanks for your reply, and yes, we did start out several years ago w/ a needless system.......and honestly, I don't know what happened to them....as far as the HIV, the lab said they didn't actually need her permission to test her.......isn't that illeg?
  6. by   TerriRene
    I did the same thing last year. I gave a IM to two different patients who were in the same room. I stuck myself with both needles. YES I WAS STUPID!!! Especially since I have been a nurse for 18 years and universal precautions as well as infection control has been drummed into me for years. For goodness sake I have even taught both of these topics at the university level. Both patients as well as myself were tested for HIV and everyone turned out negative. PRAISE THE LORD!!! GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME!!
  7. by   deespoohbear
    Originally posted by NurseDianne

    NO we don't use a needleless system at our small rural south ga hospital.

    What would you have done?
    After I went through the protocols for a needle stick, I would have contacted OSHA and reported your facility for being in violation of federal law that mandates needleless systems for all facilities, effective April 2001, . Next I would be notifying the hospital administration that OSHA has been contacted and if for some reason you contract HIV, you are going to slap them with the biggest lawsuit south of the Mason-Dixon Line.....your facility has acted negligently and violated federal law....they should be in deep doo-doo...
    Last edit by deespoohbear on Jan 20, '03
  8. by   deespoohbear
    NATIONAL NEWS RELEASE
    Thursday, April 12, 2001
    Contact: Bill Wright
    Phone: (202) 693-1999
    NEEDLESTICK REQUIREMENTS TAKE EFFECT APRIL 18

    OSHA announced today that changes in its bloodborne pathogens standard intended to reduce needlesticks among healthcare workers and others who handle medical sharps will go into effect April 18. The agency is planning a 90-day outreach and education effort before enforcing the new rules.

    Mandated by the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act, changes to OSHA's bloodborne pathogens standard were published January 18, 2001, to take effect April 18, 2001. The revisions clarify the need for employers to select safer needle devices as they become available and to involve employees in identifying and choosing the devices. The updated standard also requires employers to maintain a log of injuries from contaminated sharps.

    Specifically, the revised OSHA bloodborne pathogens standard obligates employers to consider safer needle devices when they conduct their annual review of their exposure control plan. Safer sharps are considered appropriate engineering controls, the best strategy for worker protection.

    Involving frontline employees in selecting safer devices will help ensure that workers who are using the equipment have the opportunity for input into purchasing decisions. The new needlestick log will help both employees and employers track all needlesticks to help identify problem areas or operations. The updated standard also includes provisions designed to maintain the privacy of employees who have experienced needlesticks.

    Passed unanimously by Congress, the Needlestick Safety and Prevention Act took effect November 6, 2000. It specified revisions of OSHA's bloodborne pathogens standard and directed the agency to make these changes within six months. The legislation exempted OSHA from certain standard rulemaking requirements so that the revised bloodborne pathogens standard could be adopted quickly. These changes now go into effect as originally scheduled.

    * The following language is intended to provide further clarification of employer requirements under the revised bloodborne pathogens standard: Employers are required to use safer medical devices wherever feasible in order to reduce the risk of injury from sharps. The revised standard requires employers to document their consideration and implementation of these devices in the annual review of their exposure control plan and document the solicitation and input provided by frontline employees in their selection.

    # # #

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    (The text of this news release is available on the OSHA website at http://www.osha.gov.) Information on this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: (202) 693-1999.



    Like I said, your facility could be in for some hefty fines and other problems.....serves them right for being such tightwads....
  9. by   NurseWeasel
    I would get the patient tested, and I would not take the HIV meds. The side effects are horrible, and with such a low risk patient, personally I'd not take them. I believe you have to be on them for up to 6 months and the side effects involve extreme nausea, vomiting, lack of appetite, fatigue, aches, general malaise... yuk!!! Worth it if you're at serious risk, but otherwise not.

    And yeah, what everyone else said!
  10. by   nursenatalie
    I am shocked that your facility does not use needleless systems!! I would make it my personal crusade to have them switch to needleless. Im sorry that you had to experience that, it is scary. It is infuriating that it did not have to happen.
  11. by   Flo1216
    Almost all of our injection needles have a safety device on them and I have been spoiled by them as a student. However, we still have some that don't and sometimes I actually have to stop and think before I dispose of the needle. My instructor from hell actually recapped one, right in front of me. I would have LOVED to say something, but she probably would have had me disemboweled with a rusty butterknife.
  12. by   researchrabbit
    Actually, Flo, you should have called the instructor on it. She can't disembowel you when you're right.

    I did the same to MY instructor from hell. Not that she improved any, but it SURE FELT GOOD.
  13. by   NurseWeasel
    Originally posted by deespoohbear
    ...clarify the need for employers to select safer needle devices as they become available.... obligates employers to consider safer needle devices.... required to use safer medical devices wherever feasible.... requires employers to document their consideration and implementation of these devices....
    Lawyers obviously had a hand in this wording.... always gotta be a loophole!
  14. by   deespoohbear
    Yeah, I am sure lawyers had a hand in writing this, but my understanding of the law is this: if there are safer alternatives available the facility must adopt one of these safer alternatives...in this case needleless systems are available and the facility has not adopted them....therefore they are in violation of OSHA regs....I think Dianne should be able to take her facility to the cleaners for pain and mental anguish.....
    Last edit by deespoohbear on Jan 20, '03

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