Needle Stick Injury on HIV+ pt


This happened last night and I want to cry. The transmission is considered low risk but its scaring the **** out of me. I can't sleep. I can't eat (due to the PEP meds I'm on?). I'm waiting on the results of whether this pt is HEP B, C + as well.

I want to tell the ones I love but I can't. I don't know how and I don't want to scare them. I'm starting to get headaches. They are very mild but I can't focus. It is constant.

I'm frustrated. I'm scared. I freak out from it every few hours.

It's hard to distract myself. I can't get this off my mind. How do I pass time? I live alone and there's no one close that I feel comfortable talking to about this. I have up to 6 months as to whether I find out I'm infected. It's only been a day.

The last 28 hours have been the longest hours ever.

I've talked to the infectious disease doc earlier today and he temporarily relieved some of my anxieties however, its difficult to concentrate on something else.

I'm reacting. Over reacting? No, reacting. I'm all over the place right now.

I want to be comforted.

Jules A, MSN

8,863 Posts

Specializes in Family Nurse Practitioner.

Sending hugs your way. I can't imagine how frightening this must be. There will be others along to share their positive outcomes in similar situations so just hang in there.


7 Posts

I cant imagine what you are going through but, try not to drive yourself crazy. Big hug for you and try to relax! Dont really now what to say but try and think about something positive and pray that always helps me!;)

Specializes in Emergency. Has 4 years experience.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.


27 Posts

Specializes in home health, hospice, clinic, telemetry.

OH my heart breaks for you. I'm so very sorry this happened to you!! I'll keep you in my thoughts!!! hang in there! I urge you to find someone close to you that you can lean on right now. The fear you are experiencing is overwhelming in itself and our imaginations can make things worse. So please....find someone (in person) you are willing to contact and can lean on!!



557 Posts

Specializes in Tele, ICU, ED, Nurse Instructor,. Has 4 years experience.

Big and long hugs to you!!! Try to relax. Dont get your BP elevated. We are here to support you. Its okay to show you concerns and emotions. Keep us posted.


353 Posts

overreacting? heck no. i'd be freaking out too. thats a very dangerous situation.

care to tell us how it happened?


225 Posts

(((((((((( holdencaufield ))))))))))

mamamerlee, LPN

949 Posts

Specializes in home health, dialysis, others. Has 35 years experience.

I know this is very frightening for you, but the chance of transmittal is relatively low.

Does your employer have an EAP? SEEK IT OUT. They can help you get some emotional support.

Try hard to compartmentalize this. In other words, keep in mind that you are doing everything you can, and that this is a waiting game. Take some deep breaths, and then settle yourself. It make take a few days to get to this point.

Come to this board anytime you start feeling overwhelmed, and pour your heart out if you need to.

Find some light reading, or humorous websites for distraction. I love for a quick relief anytime.

Best wishes in this trying situation. Keep us posted.


240 Posts

Specializes in Global Health Informatics, MNCH.

I had the same thing happen to me three and a half years ago. My husband (then boyfriend) and some coworkers were the only people who knew. I couldn't bear telling my parents. It was terrible the first few months and taking PEP was an experience that has made me much more sympathetic to non-compliant patients.

You're not overreacting, but you will make it through this. Your ID doc is right, the risk is very low. I have been tested plenty of times since and have since had a baby. Sending prayers & positive thoughts your way.

General E. Speaking, RN, RN

4 Articles; 1,337 Posts

Specializes in floor to ICU.

I am so sorry, I know this is difficult. Had the same thing happen to me. I had a "low risk stick" too (seems like an oxymoron tho when HIV is involved).

Mine happened a long time ago (about 17 yrs ago) and I dont recall being offered PEP. Things were probably done differently. Back then, AIDS patients died a horrible death. The became horribly emaciated, couldnt eat and had terrible diarrhea. I was giving my patient a Sub Q injection in his arm. Not sure how it happened, but his arm so so thin that the needle went thru him and thru my glove. I felt the prick. I immediately pulled my gloves off and scrubbed my hands. I went a few hours in denial and put it out of my mind. Later in the day it hit me and I freaked out.

Waiting the 6 months for the final lab test to come back was agonizing. Not even sure if that amount of time is needed now. I was very careful about not having unprotected sex with my husband, not sharing razors with anyone, etc...

Thankfully, everything came back negative. I am thinking of you and saying a prayer. Please keep us updated.

FlyingScot, RN

2,016 Posts

Specializes in Peds/Neo CCT,Flight, ER, Hem/Onc. Has 28 years experience.

I'm taking this journey with you at the very same time. Only mine is with a Hep C patient. She popped negative on her HIV but I have to wait 6 weeks for my first blood test and there is absolutely nothing they can do to treat me. Unfortunately mine was with the worst type of needle too...large bore, hollow core right into my middle finger. There's nothing I can say to make you feel better...just hang in there and I will too.