Needlestick injuries during surgery

  1. If an OR staff member is injured during a case from a dirty hypo/blade/suture. When does the surgeon gain consent from the patient to test their bloodwork: before surgery, or after the exposure happens? What does your hospital do?
    The reason I am asking is I think our current process is possibly old and outdated. PM me if you would prefer, Thanks!
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    About ruralgirl08

    Joined: Jan '09; Posts: 275; Likes: 146
    Specialty: med-surg, OR


  3. by   peabozzle
    where I work, the charge nurse gets consent only if a needle stick happens. Our policy actually states that consent is not needed from the patient, but we always ask the family or significant other to sign a consent, as the patient is usually under effects of anesthesia at the point the needlestick happens. I am the charge nurse, and never have I had a family or patient give me any flak about drawing blood in a case like that. We always explain what we are testing for & why, and assure them that they won't be charged.
  4. by   TakeTwoAspirin
    It's covered in our consent so that we don't have to wait to draw blood until either the patient is out of anesthesia or we track down a family member.
  5. by   ruralgirl08
    Our current process is to have the surgeon as the patient/family in recovery. This has recently been a problem because the process has been challenged (a surgeon refusing to gain consent or give the order because "its not their problem".) As nurses can't give orders: it can put non-medical staff at risk. Is this covered right on your surgical consent, and addressed prior to every case? Like blood products, photography, ect?
  6. by   traumaRUs
    There are frequently state laws that govern this.

    In IL, you need no consent if there is a needlestick or exposure to body fluids.
  7. by   TraumaORnurse
    Our consent for treatment has a specific section that asks for permission to test for HIV & hepatitis in the event of a needle stick. The patient initials "yes, I consent" or "no, I do not consent."

    Waiting until after surgery doesn't seem appropriate. Anyone with a needle stick must report to employee health or the ER within 2 hours of the incident & are held there until the patient's rapid HIV comes back.