Published Jun 21, 2004
I had one of those shifts last night. My patient, a known HIV carrier, seized and busted his forehead open right in front of me. He's on coumadin and there was a LOT of blood. It spattered all over my scrubs and there was blood on my intact skin. Anyway about the scrubs. Are these scrubs doomed for the garbage pile? This is my first experience with this situation. Thanks
SouthernLPN2RN, MSN, LPN, RN
How do you contract HIV from a pair of washed scrubs previously splashed with tainted blood? I guess throwing them out would give you peace of mind more than anything. Blood is easily washed out of scrubs in my experience with them. Peroxide would only leave huge white spots. Or is that bleach I'm thinking of. :chuckle
Altra, BSN, RN
If it were me I'd forget the scrubs (though I seem to remember from micro that HIV doesn't "live" very long outside the body so peroxide & washing would probably do the trick) but I'd be more concerned with making absolutely certain that your "intact skin" is indeed 100% intact.
Was there an "exposure" protocol followed after the incident?
I'm sure the experienced nurses here can provide better info than I can - I haven't run into this scenario yet.
JMHO...HIV or no HIV, if I get a large amount of any bodily fluid on my scrubs, I'm gonna throw them away. I once had to do a sacral dressing and when I turned my pt. over, he projectile pooped right on my jacket. I went out of the room and threw it right in the garbage.
rjflyn, ASN, RN
In this case with a known risk I personally would pitch them in the trash.
Hi, I am a Nurse Eduator, & the appropriate response to this is:
You should have done the following at the time, (even if you were on clinical): thoroughly washed any exposed skin with soap and hot water. Made sure no mucus membranes (i.e., eyes) exposed, or that no skin was broken. Removed your soiled clothing and put in Biohazard bag. Put on clean scrubs. Not necessary to throw them out, if treated in something like OxyClean (have gloves on), & washed ASAP in hot water. HIV does not live long outside the body. Gone to Employee Health/the ER immediately to see an MD and write out an Incident Report. MD would decide if you needed follow drugs. They would give you lab tests anyway.
That is one reason I wear white. I can see the stains and treat them before they are set. Peroxide gets out blood followed by Shout. Then with my wites I bleach them to get any trace left behind.
HIV or anyting else is easily killed by a 1 part clorox to 10 parts water.
HIV is really very fragile and easily killed. Just washing in detergent witout bleach will do it.
The problem I see is the stain. Try peroxide. I find it is generally safe even on most colored scrubs. Try a stain removal product.
If all else fails trash them.
As for concerns about infection soap and water takes care of it.
As far as just trashing them. This is bio hazard waste. So I would wash them before I trashed them or trash them in the biohazard waste.
wonderbee, BSN, RN
Hi, I am a Nurse Eduator, & the appropriate response to this is: You should have done the following at the time, (even if you were on clinical): thoroughly washed any exposed skin with soap and hot water. Made sure no mucus membranes (i.e., eyes) exposed, or that no skin was broken. Removed your soiled clothing and put in Biohazard bag. Put on clean scrubs. Not necessary to throw them out, if treated in something like OxyClean (have gloves on), & washed ASAP in hot water. HIV does not live long outside the body. Gone to Employee Health/the ER immediately to see an MD and write out an Incident Report. MD would decide if you needed follow drugs. They would give you lab tests anyway.good luck.
Actually, this happened in the scope of my employment as a tech. I did wash the exposed skin with soap and water... not hot though. I did change into surgical scrubs and disposed of my personal scrubs in a bio bag. There was no input from my charge on the issue. When I got home and after I started thinking about it, I called one of my instructors who informed me there may be a protocol. Immediately I called the infection control nurse at the hospital and her response was that the CDC in 2001 stated that there is no protocol for intact skin exposure. (I did check my skin with a fine tooth comb and it, thankfully, intact).
I washed the scrubs (thankfully white) in hot water with bleach. They shrunk. NOW they're getting tossed!! Geesh, what a rough night.
sleepless in norman
Everywhrere I've worked, anytime you come into contact with body fluid , you are to contact the supervisor, policy requires incident reports and lab to be drawn for baseline studies, especially for HIV/Hepatitis exposure, this is to protect you, as far as the organism, HIV is not very viralunt outside of the body and is destroyed by common household bleach, but as previously advised, for your own peice of mind you can destroy the scrubs, I have allways been a strong proponent of hospitals supplying clothing for the workers, so as not to bring anything home with you.:)
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