Have any of you ever been stuck by a needle and not felt it?


I was attempting an IV on a hepatitis c+ patient a couple of days ago at work. I was extra careful because I knew she had this. I had on gloves the entire time. After I left the room and washed my hands I noticed a small pink bump on my palm that looked almost like a small prick. I didn't feel a stick or notice any bleeding when I removed my gloves but I changed gloves several times in there because she bled a lot. I at first tried to forget about it because I kept thinking that there was no way I would have stuck myself right there and not felt it. After a sleepless night I went and saw the infection control nurse the next day and she didnt think there was any broken skin there and said that she probably wouldn't do anything about it if it were her but if I needed the peace of mind they would draw my blood so I opted to have that done.I am just worried sick because I don't know what to make of this. Have any of you ever been stuck by a needle and not felt it? Like a jelco? The spot could have been there before and I didn't notice it but I can't confirm. SCARY STUFF :(

Has 33 years experience.

You did not feel a pinprick and there was no blood.The infection control nurse was not alarmed.

You are experiencing a panic/anxiety reaction. These reactions could become more frequent.

I hope you reach out to your EAP, get a little counseling so you can overcome this.

I just looked at my palms for ya, I also found a small pink bump. Haven't stuck anybody in years.



17 Posts

I know I am anxious about stuff like this. Hopefully everything will be ok


392 Posts

Nope....it hurt like bejesus!!!! Thankfully it was only once and it was unused on the patient.

Long Term Care Columnist / Guide

VivaLasViejas, ASN, RN

142 Articles; 9,981 Posts

Specializes in LTC, assisted living, med-surg, psych. Has 26 years experience.

I've stuck myself a couple of times, and believe me, I felt it. Even with an insulin needle. Luckily it happened before and not after I used it on a patient! You'll be fine, you would have known it if you'd stuck yourself with an IV needle. :yes:

iluvivt, BSN, RN

2,773 Posts

Specializes in Infusion Nursing, Home Health Infusion. Has 32 years experience.

No you would have felt it! They are sharp and hurt! Make sure you have all your supplies before you go in an please make sure you have the correct size gloves that fit really well. Make a place to set the shielded sharp BEFORE you do the stick if you can separate from any garbage pile. Make sure you have enough gauze at the ready. Also minimize interruptions..take control of the situation so you do not get poked....you are in charge...you can take the steps so you do not get poked....never take any shortcuts with safety.....NEVER. It can be done if you always take precautions...I have NEVER poked myself with a blood filled IV catheter in 33 years of nursing and this includes the non safety ones we used to use. I have poked myself once with a SQ needle that some that was not thinking used at a Y site and once I reached into a box of syringes and one had a broken needle in it. So yes it can be done! You get to decide it will not happen to YOU.

PS. I have started thousands upon thousands of IVs as most of my time has been spent in IV therapy as well as floating to every floor for extra shifts


17 Posts

Yeah. I can't say I didn't get interrupted a few times. My vocera phone was called twice while I was with the patient once I had to leave the room because the supervisor wanted to give me a bed. I'm good about realeasing the safety as I'm pulled the needle out of the patient. It's just weird because I have no idea where that little prick spot came from. I have been stuck by a 20g jelco before and I knew immediately and it bled. Unless I was so in the moment with this one I don't know how I couldve not felt it.


17 Posts

This patient was a hard stick and had to be stuck multiple times. Don't throw things at me but I attempted 4 times. I believe it was a with a 20, 22, and 2 24's. I was charge nurse and rarely miss iv's and had the most experience on the floor that day. Unless I grazed myself with the 22 or 24 idk. I was really careful. When I had that other stick with the jelco I was holding my fingers too close trying to feel the vein and it came out of the vein and stuck my finger. I even had that thought in the room that I needed to move my fingers. I am so mad at myself right now.

iluvivt, BSN, RN

2,773 Posts

Specializes in Infusion Nursing, Home Health Infusion. Has 32 years experience.

Just take care of yourself. .that is what is important


10 Posts

You would have definitely felt it. I have been stuck numerous times ( I work in dialysis and we draw up so much heparin and saline etc because it's cheaper than the safer prefilled alternative) I once had an 18G go go right through my middle finger because it hit the metal edge drawing up heparin. A few sticks from tuberculin needles used for lidocaine because they are so flimsy the slightest bend and they go sideways through the cap when you are putting it on. And an epo syringe that got caught in my glove somehow and went through. It was dirty. My only saving grace is that I know my patients are tested constantly for blood born pathogens. So I really have no need to panic when it happens. It is inevitable when you spend your day in a unit where all you deal with is blood and needles.


1,142 Posts

Specializes in ED, Cardiac-step down, tele, med surg.

I stuck myself with a new needle (an insulin syringe) when I was taking it out of the package and it split my finger, like a paper cut kind of. It bled and hurt and I definitely felt it. From that moment on, I am very careful when starting an IV or performing an injection. If I were in your case, I would try to let go of the anxiety since it seems like the bump is probably something else. The worst case scenario type of thinking does seem like an anxiety reaction. I've had that before and I try to talk myself out of it every time.


700 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg. Has 1 years experience.

I have stuck myself twice.

The first time was with an IV. I was demonstrating our IV equipment to a student, specifically how to advance the catheter while pulling the needle back. I stuck myself, definitely embarrassed.

The second time was when we got some new lancets. I tried about five before I figured out how to activate them and in the process managed to prick myself.

Each time I felt it, especially with the IV. I imagine a subcutaneous needle would be more difficult to feel.

It doesn't sound like you had a needle stick. You have been given some great advice on here by previous posters.