Removing needle from syringe

  1. Hello everyone:
    I'm a Nursing Student and was wondering if anyone had a needle stick after being exposed to a known HIV+ patient.
    What are the chances of one being infected after such exposure. I know it's part of the job but have been stressing over this for quite some time.
    -GM
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  2. 76 Comments

  3. by   SteveNNP
    I've heard 1:200... althrough it depends on the gauge of the needle, amount of blood involved, and whether the person stuck takes antiretrovirals after the stick. The risk drops dramatically if the ARV's are started within 3 days. I've had a needlestick, and felt horrible for a few days until I found out that the pt was negative for hep c and HIV. I'm more careful now, because of it.
  4. by   PHLEBOTOMIST_TO_RN
    Scary......As a Phleb I have known a few people who have stuck themselves with HIV+ p.t.'s (one p.t.was at end term) and she turned out+ The odds, however, are very very small. Its very dangerous work as a p.t. could be all calm one second them FILP OUT the next as soon as you get the needle in them ( I average 50 p.t.s a day not including the traumas so im at huge risk). I would advise against ARV's as there are no long term studies of their effects, and i would only take them if you know the source is positive. A doc basically told me ARV's are extremely toxic btw.
  5. by   DizzyLizard
    When I worked as an EMT years agoI was exposed to an HIV + pt and fortunately nothing has come of it (I was cut and bleeding while fighting with the combative guy) I was told the chances are low but I still get tested once a year just to make sure. I don't want to take chances!
  6. by   herecomestrouble
    Blood to blood carries the highest risk,so the gauge does count,a needle used for subq injection wouldn't be as bad as a blood draw since there wouldn't be much/any blood on the subq needle.Make sure you report it immediately,first thing they'll do is test you for HIV,since it can take up to six months for thevirus to show up on a test if you test + right away then you already had it.Do take the ARV's,they aren't 100% grarateed but you have a better chance with them.Yes they are "toxic' and it usually takes about 4-6 weeks for your body to adjust to them,you'll be off by that time.If you are on PEP it will only be about 4-6 weeks.
    Even if you do end up +,remember that HIV is not the death sentence that it once was.With an HIV specialist you can continue to live a normal life with only a few changes.The new meds are not as bad,side effect wise,as they used to be.And the dosing is much easier now than years ago.Make sure that you see a specialist though,a general practioner can not keep up with all the new breakthroughs in tx.Not all ID's are HIV specialists.
    On the whole accidental needle sticks are not a big source of new HIV infections but it is possible.
    I'm not telling you this from something I heard or read,I was dx'ed with AIDS 3 years ago and have not only studied everything I can find about the disease but live with it each day.It is something that you need to take seriously but if you enjoy your job and are careful do not let the fear of contracting HIV stress you out.No I didn't get infected from a needle stick.Just enjou your job and use common sense.
  7. by   widi96
    It depends on the time between also - if you get stuck with a needle that has sat on the edge of a sharps box for an hour - your risk is low. If I remember correctly - HIV only lives like 8 seconds after being out of the body (I don't know if it has to do with the temperature or what it is, but it doesn't function very long). Hep C exposure would scare me a whole lot more.
  8. by   GardenDove
    2-10% chance of contracting Hep C after a needlestick. Mine was with a 22 gauge IV attempt needle that I didn't engage the safety device properly, which sat for a bit while I attempted another start, then I got stuck when I grabbed the debris from the fiasco. I wasn't infected.
  9. by   CHATSDALE
    i had a stick while trying to put a lid on a too full sharps container..don't know for sure that the needle was from hiv+ or hc pt but we had a lot of them on that carts hall
    ws tested periodically for 6 months w/o sign of infection
    i don't know about the 8 seconds that seems a little short period of time but do the universal precautions and if you do get stuck don't panic..chances are all on your side
  10. by   TazziRN
    Quote from PHLEBOTOMIST_TO_RN
    I would advise against ARV's as there are no long term studies of their effects, and i would only take them if you know the source is positive. A doc basically told me ARV's are extremely toxic btw.
    Since a positive test result comes so long after exposure, I would not want to take the chance that someone who isn't positive now doesn't turn positive 6 months later, and I would never find that out. Although the chances of turning positive after a needle stick are low, I would rather play it safe if the pt's history is unknown or if there is high risk and take the meds for three days.
  11. by   GM1987
    Thanks for the responses.
    Exactly a week ago, my buddy was exposed to a sharp object behind a door handle at a local clinic. He states that it felt like a needle so he's been extensively worrying about his condition - thinking a remorseful + pt wanted him to get it.
    I told him to not worry about it too much as chances of transmission are .3% and it occurred outside of the health care setting. I know the CDC has no documented info. regarding a needle stick injury outside of the health care setting but nevertheless, who else would stick a needle behind a handle? For what purpose other than the expected?
  12. by   TazziRN
    "He states that it felt like a needle"


    Sounds to me he's being a bit paranoid. There are lots of things that can feel sharp, including metal spurs.
  13. by   GM1987
    Told him the same thing.
    He saw plastic tape wrapped around the handle so that's been bothering him for some time.
    I told him someone from the clinic or any of the patients who had gone in and out would've noticed but when the mind is playing tricks with you, I guess you believe the unexpected.
    My mom is a RN and a co-worker recently sustained a needle stick. Doctors did not administer PEP but gave her a vaccine shot for HEP-B which surprisingly, she didn't have.
  14. by   liquidblue
    The best thing he can do, if it was a needle stick, (IMO) is to follow through with the exposure program that has been set up by his employer. This should involve HIV and hepatitis testing, and possibly antiretroviral treatment.

    I did sustain an accidental needle stick while working as a phlebotomist (patient decided to become combative during the draw) and went through the "worrying" process for several months. The patient, as far as I know, came back clean, however the situation still scared me!

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