Needle stick

Specialties Geriatric


Not sure if I chose the right place to post this, but anyway need some support/shared experience.... Had my 1st needle stick after administering heparin to a pt. The facility ran some tests on the pt and he's + for hep C(hiv is still pending). I was started on truvada and isentress last week, and hoping he's not HIV +. I know the chances of getting hep c through needle stick is low, but it does not make me feel any better. Did any of you have to go through similar experience? Need a few kind/supportive words. Thanks

Hi VeraT,

I understand how scared you must be. I've had a needle stick before too, although my patient came back clean. The fact that you started meds early also helps minimize the risk of getting the virus. I'm sure it will be ok. Accidental needle sticks/ body fluid exposure happens all the time.

I've been in your shoes, VeraT. About 7 years ago I got a needle stick injury from a positive Hep C patient that jerked away during a blood draw, poking me. I immediately washed the site and notified management. I was terrified, and probably didn't sleep for a week. After the first year, my doc was confident I never got it and I never got symptoms. A little secret- I went back and retested myself 2 years in a row because it kept me up at night sometimes, but it was always negative. I wish there was someone with experience that could have told me it would be ok and what the odds were, but maybe I can share and be that someone for you. It WILL BE OK. The odds are enormously LOW. Trust me, I spent weeks researching the heck out of it. You can request some time off with PTO under sick leave if you need time to breathe. I did this, and it was so worth it. Spend time with your friends and family, and try not to focus on it. I found out later in my career that many MANY nurses have been through this so you are not alone, and it is far from uncommon. You will get through this! After all, if nurses weren't tough this industry would have died out a hundred years ago.;)

Never happen to me, but it happen to my mother who is also a nurse. Do not worry! The chances are extremely low. Not that this will take the worry away! Just breathe!

Specializes in Gerontology, Med surg, Home Health.

A few things: sorry you had to go through this. On the bright's not that easy to get Hep C through a needle stick. If you do get it, there's a drug called Harvoni which will cure you. Baby boomers are the biggest group of carriers of hepatitis C so some of our docs are screening everyone. HIV is even more difficult to get through a needle stick. The virus is very fragile outside the body. Take care of yourself.

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