Stuck with needle from pt +HepC

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Hello, (I'm hoping on some words of encouragement and possibly some stories from others with the same or similar situations... it would be amazing if some prayers came my way too..)

A little over a month ago i went to do some routine blood draws and was stuck with a 25g needle. i saw blood under my glove so i hurried up and put a gauze square and tape on my patient and ran out of the room into another (empty) room and washed my hands with soap and water. at the time i was panicking so i didnt even think to bleed the site.. i just washed and washed.. i went straight to my manager and she sent me down to employee health. the employee health nurse looked through the patient's files and saw nothing that indicated that she had any diseases, or infections that were red flags. My blood was drawn along with the patients blood. my labs came back a week later showing no signs of infection, my liver panel was normal and HIV and Hep B was neg. HIV and HepB was also negative on the patient. only thing is.. the patient's HepC was positive...=( it was a surprise to not only me, but for the patient and the doctors as well. i broke down.. knowing that hepc was a bit serious.. i kept thinking of my fiance, and how he would take it.. he is a paramedic so he had a little knowledge of hepc. he gave me open arms and so many prayers.

a couple weeks after the needle stick, i started to feel nauseated all the time.. not to the point where i wanted to throw up.. but just enough to give me an uneasy feeling. now its been over a month and i dont feel nauseous anymore like i did.

I just had my one month blood draw 2 weeks ago and everything came back "normal" again, and the patient's viral load was low. The only thing is, is my nerves and anxiety over this has been horrible.. i have good days where i dont think of it at all and then i have bad days where i cant stop thinking about it..

i go back for my 3 month blood draw next month and i am terrified.. I think i am more terrified for my future husbands safety, i know that the risks are low to transmit hepc through sexual contact but it is still very scary...I havent kissed him since it happened because i am so shaken from this.. but he is very accepting and supportive.

i have read a lot of stories on here and i just want a little bit of hope.. my 6 month blood draw will be in september.. will i know for sure if i have HepC or not by then?

I will keep you all updated with each step i take in this obstacle..

Lots of love,

Faye

thank you

amoLucia

7,735 Posts

Specializes in retired LTC.

People here will be holding good wishes for you during this time. Staff who have experienced needle sticks understand your anxiety. You can only rely on your health practitioners and wait for the labs. I don't know the statistics to offer help, except to say good luck.

Has 33 years experience.

Whatever your "odds" are of contracting Hep C... you are following the protocol , that is all you can do to follow up.

You are afraid to kiss your fiance. That indicates your are in a full blown anxiety state.. and that is understandable.

Now you need to seek PROFESSIONAL assistance to manage that.Please don't suffer until September.

FayeRN1982

4 Posts

thank you, it helps so much to have support and words of encouragement. September is coming soon so i will keep you all posted. Thanks for all the support. My anxiety is better, i hardly ever think about it anymore. so far, all labs have come back negative for hepc. Im hopeful but also still scared. I have gotten past the "kissing" thing so i think im getting better and better with time. i will post again with next results.

thanks for the wonderful words.

faye

FayeRN1982

4 Posts

Thank god for my nursing family to stand beside me with all of this. so much love.

Faye

suanna

1,549 Posts

Specializes in Post Anesthesia. Has 30 years experience.

As you said- the odds of contracting Hep C from a patient with a low viral load is next to NIL. As to giving it to your SO- even less. Just to be safe I'd use a condom for those most intimate encounters until your 3mos screen. You should talk to your Employee Health doctor- He may be able to give you some peace of mind. As nurses we are exposed to so many nasty, med-resistant bugs every day- and no painc. Don't let a low risk needle stick take over your life. I did M-to-M on a Hep-C+ MVA/face trauma in the field a while ago- breath- spit out his teeth and blood-begin compressions- for 20min on my own. 10 years later I still have to lay in the sun to get a tan- just like I always have. My liver is hunky-dory. Have you had your Hep B vac? I have been told it can provide some immunity to Hep C in low virus count exposures. If not- once you are cleared-get vaccinated for B at least. There have been many studies of known Hep C positive persons living with a spouse- taking little or no extreme precautions, and the spouse remains negative. Be aware of your health- but try for some perspective-I'd co-sign a loan for you without a single worry about you getting Hep-C.