stuck by a needle and worried

  1. I am a dental assistant in southern ohio,im very worried,last week,i got stuck with a used needle from one of our patients,in the state of Ohio,the pt can refuse to be tested,but the pt said she didnt mind.But she still hasent been bye to pick up the script to have the blood work done.We have called her and left messages,but she does not return our calls.The really bad thing is,and the reason i am worried so much,is,she just completed a drug rehab program,but i dont know what kind of drugs she was on.So anybody in my position would also be stressin and worried about this.She seemed to be a very clean person,she had nice teeth,so that tells me that she was not into crack,but you never can tell these days.(her medical history did not have any diseases marked) Does anybody know how long it takes for hiv and hep a and b to show up in blood?what am i supposed to do? worry about this and lose sleep over it until i find out,by her not coming bye to pick up the script makes me feel like she has something to hide!!! Should i be tested and how long should i wait to be tested????
    Last edit by recruitergroupie on Dec 26, '04
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    About recruitergroupie

    Joined: Dec '04; Posts: 1
    Dental Assistant


  3. by   Mystery5
    If I were you I would go right away and receive anti-HIV medication. I don't know the details, but I've heard there are drugs that if given right away after exposure, can prevent a person from being infected. They are given to rape victims and people such as yourself who don't know the status of the person from whom they were possibly exposed.

    It seems like the dentist you work for doesn't have much in the way of a protocol for this type of thing and really ought to.
  4. by   anc33
    You need to get tested ASAP and begin treatment if necessary. Post exposure prophylaxis is not effective if begun more than 36 hours after the incident. They usually do not do PEP for Hepatitis (they may give you IG if you are not vaccinated for Hep B) but they do give a "cocktail" for HIV PEP (~1 month treatment). You need to get tested now, at six weeks, 12 weeks and again in 6 months as people seroconvert at different rates. Of those you have gotten HIV from a needlestick many have had symptoms within a month. Of course your risk of transmission is rather low. 0.2-0.4% for HIV, <10% for Hep C, but up to 40% for Hep B. Do not wait around for this patient to act.