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HIV- Occupational Exposure

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by Jnorth Jnorth (New) New

Hello, nurses!

I am a student nurse about to enter my final semester of an ADN program. I have a question about HIV transmission in the health care setting (it's pretty specific and I'm sorry if it's a dumb one). We had the opportunity to have a share day with a nurse in the ER, and I worked with a gentleman who had thrombocytopenic purpura as a result of HIV on his bilateral lower extremities. Without a gloved hand, I touched his lower legs where the purpura were under the instruction of the nurse so I could see how they were slightly raised. I washed my hands immediately afterward, but I had a small papercut on one of my fingers. I understand that HIV is by no stretch of the imagination an ailment that needs contact precautions, but since the purpura was the result of pinpoint hemorrhages, do you think I've exposed myself? Sorry again if this is a stupid question, and thanks!

classicdame, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

I think the chances are minimal but you should notify the infection control nurse to ask for an expert opinion.

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 41 years experience.

Welcome to AN! carols.gif The largest online nursing community!

We cannot give medical advice as per the Terms of Service....these questions need to be addressed by your PCP/school CI/occupational health. However....HIV is spread through blood and body FLUIDS. Purpura is not the fluid itself.

Here is some information from the CDC

Basic Information about HIV and AIDS | Topics | CDC HIV/AIDS

I wish you the best on your nursing journey!

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Thread closed.

Thanks guys!

Esme12, ASN, BSN, RN

Specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma. Has 41 years experience.

You're welcome!

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