Needle Contamination

Needle contamination occurs when the push-off top method is used and can get affected by hands contaminated with saliva. The meaning is needle hubs get contaminated with the bacteria upon the opening of injection needles under clinical conditions.

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What should I do if I have been accidentally exposed to a dirty needle during a blood test?

Query: Hi doctor, I am a 32-year-old female patient who recently had blood drawn for various tests. I am concerned about the possibility of being stuck with a dirty needle during the procedure. Although I am not sure if this actually happened, I experienced mild fever, dehydration, and loss of appetite the...  Read Full »

Dr. K. Shanmuganandan

Answer: Hello, Welcome to I understand your concern. Blood drawing is generally considered a safe procedure, and it should not cause fever. Kindly answer the following questions so that I can help you. Was the blood drawing needle disposable and used once? Could you confirm if the vacut...  Read Full »

What are the possibilities of infection spread from an unsterile needle during my TT injection?

Query: Hello doctor, I have got a TT injection in deltoid of left arm today from a local hospital. After loading injection in casualty the nurse called to injection room, I sat there, nurse cleaned my arm with spirit. After cleaning, I noticed that the preloaded syringe with the needle was kept on the bed...  Read Full »

Dr. Aditi Gupta

Answer: Hi, Welcome to Good to know that you are careful with healthcare. Firstly I would like to know what was the reason to take a TT injection? On a general note, the injection needle scenario you described is completely safe from most serious viral infections, but only a few bacteria may ...  Read Full »

The pharmacist who gave me my rabies shot touched the needle before injecting. Are there chances for HIV infection?

Query: Hello doctor, Yesterday, I took a rabies shot in a pharmacy. The pharmacist touched things like papers and money when talking to other customers. Also, his thumb touched the long part of the needle when he was preparing the injection. However, he did not touch the needle tip, and there was no blood...  Read Full »

Dr. Basti Bharatesh Devendra

Answer: Hello, Welcome to Thank you for the query. There is no need to worry. The pharmacists are well trained about the precautions before any injection. Therefore, the chances of transmission of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) by such modes are nil. I hope this helps. Thank you.  Read Full »

Do I need medical attention after poking myself with a dirty tattoo needle and ink contaminated with pigskin?

Query: Hello doctor,I poked myself with a dirty needle and dirty tattoo ink. Both were cross-contaminated with raw pigskin. Do I need medical attention?  Read Full »

Dr. Penchilaprasad Kandikattu

Answer: Hello, Welcome to You need not worry but do not neglect at the same time. I would suggest having a TT (tetanus toxoid) injection as vaccination prophylaxis. Check for any swelling or rash and secondary bacterial infections. Start antibiotics if there is any local swelling and pus format...  Read Full »

How long does HIV survive in a needle used for an HIV patient?

Query: Hello doctor, Five days ago, I went to a private hospital because of a cyst. The nurse at the hospital asked me to take a blood sugar test. She and I have had misunderstandings in the past, and I am worried if she used a used needle to collect my sample. I am sure that the syringe was new, but I am ...  Read Full »

Dr. Basti Bharatesh Devendra

Answer: Hi, Welcome to I can understand your concern. However, health care workers are trained to follow universal precautions. So they will not reuse needles. If no other patient was present, there is nothing to worry about.  Read Full »

Does a breakout of cold sores mean I am HIV positive?

Query: Hello doctor, I had pelvic pain for two to three days. My period was very spotty this month. I did not really have one and my period has always been regular. Could this be a sign and symptom of HIV? I am not pregnant. I get yearly lab tests and everything is normal. I got a yearly TB test at th...  Read Full »

Dr. Sushil Kakkar

Answer: Hello, Welcome to I have noted your concern. An irregular period is not a sign of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) infection nor is a breakout of labial herpes (cold sores). An irregular period could be due to other reasons like stress, anxiety, hormonal imbalances of the thyr...  Read Full »

Can I get infected with HIV after unprotected sex but without ejaculation?

Query: Hi doctor, I would like to know what unprotected sex means. If I penetrate in a female's vagina without a condom but do not release any semen, will it be considered as unprotected sex? Also, can there be an HIV infection in such a case?  Read Full »

Dr. Ravinder K. Manchanda

Answer: Hello, Welcome to By unprotected sex, we mean, having sex without the use of contraceptives like condom or birth control pills. Although not ejaculating is less risky than ejaculating, an unprotected sex without ejaculation still carries some risk of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) a...  Read Full »

Can HBV be transmitted by contact with an infected person's saliva or blood with intact skin?

Query: Hello doctor,I have heard that HBV can be found and transmitted through saliva. Can it be transmitted by accidentally coming in contact with the infected person's saliva that is sprayed while speaking and through a little amount of blood that comes in contact with intact and healthy skin?Thanks.  Read Full »

Dr. N. Ashok Viswanath

Answer: Hello,Welcome to B virus can be seen in the saliva of infected individuals. It can spread only if the infected person's saliva containing visible blood comes in contact with fresh wounds like a laceration. It will not cause infection when it comes in contact with lips or intact...  Read Full »

Can my low WBC be due to an HIV infection or Pfizer vaccine?

Query: Hello doctor, I had a needle stick exposure before 11 months. When I was trying to insert the IV in a patient, I ended up poking myself accidentally on my finger. I did a fourth-generation HIV antibody test five months before, and it turned out negative. Recently, I went for a routine check-up, and...  Read Full »

Dr. Ravinder K. Manchanda

Answer: Hi, Welcome to 1) If the last exposure was before 11 months and there had been no further exposure, then your test result for HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) will be considered conclusive. 2) Fourth-generation HIV test is highly sensitive and is unlikely to miss infection if...  Read Full »

I have done an HIV test and concerned about reused needles. Am I at risk of HIV?

Query: Hello doctor, I went for HIV testing in an STD where HIV positive patients do free testing. One guy tested me with a rapid test kit, and he told me to get urine for an STD check. When I came back from the restroom, I noticed that he was playing with the lancet, and he pricked me with the same. I do...  Read Full »

Dr. Anshul Varshney

Answer: Hi, Welcome to First of all, you need to understand that no healthcare worker reuses lancet. They are doing a free HIV test, so they are not going to reuse the lancet. As far as your query is concerned, one can contract HIV from the reuse of syringes, lancets. Chances depend on man...  Read Full »

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