NEEDLESTICK-should I report this needlestick in particular?


Yesterday I was giving an elderly patient with UTI her insulin using an Insulin pen,

the needles for the pen are safety needles so after use on the patient there should be no risk of poking oneself whatsoever, both the needle tip end that goes into patient gets automatically covered and needle tip that goes into the pen side gets covered.

after pulling out the pen (and holding it for over 10 secs) all or some of the dose comes out of her skin so I return to med room as I need to regive her dose properly.

when I remove the needle from the pen to put on a new one, I poke my thumb on the inner part of the needle that inserts into the pen side as the autocover didn't go up--I assume because I didn't inject the needle deep enough into the patient for the safety to turn on after.

my thumb didn't bleed, it was quite a superficial poke.

i didn't think much off it yesterday as it was a very hectic morning, and this patient is not known HIV or HEP C positive (altho I don't know if she has ever actually been tested)

and I know risk is very low even if she were and even lower given the size of the needle (30G 3/16 inch long) and given it's a SC with An insulin pen

just last night I started thinking about whether I should go to the clinic today and at least explain to doctor so I can at least get my labwork done. I really don't want to report this at work, which means the patient won't be tested, and not sure if the side effects of PEP would be worth it in my low risk case?


105 Posts

Any facility I ever worked at the policy was report all needlesticks, period. I would follow your facility policy if that is the case. You may be able to decline any further testing, again depending on their policy.

I like cats

10 Posts

I know policy is to report, I don't want to report because of backlash I know I will receive, especially because I waited a day.

What I'm concerned of moreso is my health, I intend to visit doctor today and explain what happened and go with what they recommend. If they urge me to report it so the source can be tested I will, but if they agree it is such low risk that PEP isn't recommended then there really isn't a point for me. PEP should be started within 72 hours so it's already been 24, and Doctor may recommend it's too late already. Without the PEP or even with PEP the only thing left to do is have my blood work checked the next 6 months.

The only positive thing that reporting it would do is to have the patient tested which would reduce mh nerves obviously if she is in fact negative.

And no I shouldn't receive backlash but at this site, I will. It will come in the form of bullying from other staff as I will definitely be gossiped about.

I like cats

10 Posts

Just to add I've reported it,

I realize it was stupid not to immediately.

However not a fun process

Trauma Columnist

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN

165 Articles; 21,214 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 31 years experience.

So sorry for this worry - best to check with occ health.

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