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Needle stick - Hepatitis C positive patient

Nurses   (29,952 Views | 10 Replies)
by R.Nurse R.Nurse (New) New

955 Profile Views; 2 Posts

Hi Guys,

I am extremely worried and need some reassurance right now. Today, I stuck myself with a dirty butterfly needle from a hepatitis C positive patient after I got blood from the patient. I immediately went to our occupational health department and underwent testing.

For now, I will have to undergo testing every 6 weeks and continue for one year. I was wondering if any of you guys here had a similar experience and what are the results of your testing.

Any stories or advice will be appreciated.

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LaughingRN specializes in ER.

1 Article; 231 Posts; 11,579 Profile Views

I'm sorry, I know personally how hard it is, to go through what you are dealing with now. (in fact still in the process)

My only advice is that it does get easier, everyday you wake up.

I know that you can't PM from your post count, but I'll send you one.

In case you haven't read (which I think you may have)

my story

Hugs

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317 Posts; 6,484 Profile Views

I am sorry you went through this R. Nurse:-( I too have been in your situation and actually contracted Hepatitis C. I'm assuming you have read my story in laughing's post, hence your friend request, but I'll post repost what I said here in this thread for your easy access and for others to read.

I had a pt pull an iv insertion needle out and throw it before it was retracted, and it stuck me in the thigh. High risk needlestick as it was a large bore, hollow needle that was freshly filled with his venous blood, plus it was trajected across the room into my largest muscle! I was lucky, though, as the pt was HIV negative and I turned out to be one of the lucky 15 percent of people and spontaneously cleared the virus in the third month without having to do treatment.

Did you start HIV prophylaxis? If you did, the advice I have for you is to stay on the anti-retro virals for as long as you can, or at least until the pt's HIV status comes back negative. If it is a high risk patient that may have been engaging in HIV risk behavior the last few months, then I'd stay on them for a full month even if his HIV test is negative....they suck hard core but your life depends on them. The odds of contracting HIV if you started the meds within 2 hours of your stick is dramatically decreased!!!!! Do not miss a dose!!!!

As for Hep C, the only thing you can do is wait and get tested. There are no anti-retro virals that help decrease transmission. If you contract it, you still have a chance of clearing it spontaneously but if you don't then treatment is fairly suscessful for some genotypes, but reportedely very unpleasent. In 6 weeks you should get a PCR drawn...forget about getting a Hep C antibody test because that can take months to turn up positive. But if you contract the virus, it will almost certianly be present in your blood and so a PCR viral count can detect it right away; within as early as 2 weeks even. But unless you have symptoms of seroconversion, testing as early as 2 weeks might be a waste of time and money. If you are positive, get a specialist referral right away. You will get a genotyping of the virus and you can also get a genetic test that looks at the morphology of your IL28B gene as that can help determine your odds of spontaneously clearing the virus (if you want to of course. Genetic testing is a whole bag of ethical worms that I won't go into right now and if you want to go that route, please get some counseling about it first so you can decide what is best for you). If you have the good morphology (CC), then you could possibly wait it out for 3 to 6 months to see if you spontaneously clear. If you have the bad morphology, then I think the recommendation is that you start start Hep C treatment right away, as waiting will just decrease your odds of clearing.

I actually planned to start treatment as soon as I was diagnosed but then got an acute attack right before I was to start. Got very ill, jaundiced, vomiting, horribly fatigued, ALT was almost 2000! My doctor told me this was a sign of spontaneous clearance, as I was showing a good immune response, and so I held off on treatment and waited a few more weeks and low and behold, I spontaneously cleared!!! I also had symptoms of seroconversion at 2 weeks post stick (fever of 104, chills, aches, lethargy for a few days) but I was given the shove off at the place where it happened so I had no guidance to get tested earlier and just followed up with my PCP at week 6 like she had originlly recommended.

Best of luck and keep us posted. So, so, so sorry you have to go through this and I wish you well.

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classicdame is a MSN, EdD and specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

2 Articles; 7,255 Posts; 26,713 Profile Views

never been there but want you to know I have you in my prayers

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152 Posts; 5,335 Profile Views

Hoping everything comes back negative. Praying for you.

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3 Posts; 776 Profile Views

I too was stuck with a needle used by a hepatits c patient. I was tested for about a year and luckily, was told that I am negative for it. It is scary. But your facility should have a testing schedule in place to monitor you for this. Take a deep breath and have faith that most of the tests turn out negative.

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317 Posts; 6,484 Profile Views

What gauge was the needle and how deep did it get you? Do you know for sure the pt is Hep C positive or did he just have his antibodies show up positive? Big difference, because like I no longer have the virus so am not contagious, but will most likely show positive for the antibodies for the rest of my life.

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Been there,done that has 33 years experience as a ASN, RN.

4 Followers; 6,256 Posts; 69,800 Profile Views

Been stuck, by waay too many needles. Once when I was pregnant .. from a druggie that had an amputation for gangrenous limb.

The scariest was from one left open in my lab jacket .. from lateral violence. So the source would be unknown!

I was not infected by any of these exposures.

Please.. get counseling... not just lab tests to follow up.

Chances of being infected?... one in a hundred thousand.

Chances of going crazy worrying about it? Much higher.

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2 Posts; 955 Profile Views

The needle was a butterfly needle we use to obtain blood, not sure what gauge was it but it's definitely smaller than a 22gauge. The patient's HCV ratio is 32.7 and the Hepatitis C AB is Reactive. Liver enzymes for the patient were within normal values, however.

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Esme12 is a ASN, BSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care, ED, Cath lab, CTPAC,Trauma.

5 Followers; 4 Articles; 20,908 Posts; 147,760 Profile Views

We can't give medical advice here (The Basic Terms of Service...Terms of Service). YOu need to follow up with your employee health and PCP. I am so sorry you are going through this and it is ALWAYS very stressful but the actual incidence of transmission is rather small. But the incidence of going crazy in the meantime is high.

:hug:....It is what it is, talk to your employee health or EAP. It will be OK. My prayres for you.:loveya:

.....This Alert provides current scientific information about the risk of needlestick injury and the transmission of bloodborne pathogens to health care workers.

CDC - NIOSH Publications and Products - Preventing Needlestick Injuries in Health Care Settings (2000-108)

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madwife2002 has 26 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in RN, BSN, CHDN.

1 Follower; 74 Articles; 4,777 Posts; 121,183 Profile Views

Please seek advice from your MD or HR dept-Good luck and try not to worry

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