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Accident, wounded hands and knee. Got dressed. Nurse spread the ointment using scissors. Chances of HIV infection?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 1978
Answered : 6597 Questions
i just met with a small accident 3 days back,fell from the bike and wounded on my hand and i went to a public health care centre that was just opposite to the place i fell and got dressed up the wound.since the doctor was not there i went to a private hospital to get the anti tetenus injection and there also they dressed my my doubt is there any chances of contracting hiv infection from the wound dressing scissors that they used?coz one of the nurse applied antiseptic ointment on the wound and spread with the scissors along the wound without cotton swab.i hope u will pls clarify my doubt thank you a lot for considering my doubt
Posted Tue, 16 Jul 2013 in HIV and AIDS
Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta 2 hours later
Thanks for the query.

HIV virus is very fragile and gets killed very easily but sometimes it can survive at room temperature for 5 to 6 days,
But this survival depends upon the optimum PH also.
Any pH below 7 or above 8 shall kill the virus immediately.
For infection to occur there has to be sufficient dose of virus.
For infection to occur, the scissor must come in contact with infected blood.
More over, the moment antibiotic ointment came in contact with the scissor, HIV virus, if present, would have been killed because of change in pH.
So practically there are no chances of any HIV spread to you.

I hope it helps however you may revert to me for any further query.
best of luck
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Accident, wounded hands and knee. Got dressed. Nurse spread the ointment using scissors. Chances of HIV infection? 30 minutes later
Thank you a lot doctor for easing up my mind. But is it true that they sterilise the dressing equipments? When I went for dressing there was no body else getting treated so if at all there was some blood I guess there was sufficient time for the virus to die. After applying the ointment they cut a little skin that was poking out with scissors. So in that way also I am on the safer side na doctor?
Answered by Dr. Pavan Kumar Gupta 8 minutes later

The instruments have to be sterilised and cannot be used on another patient unless sterilised.
Thus in a medical setting, instruments are always sterilised and there is nothing to worry on that account.
Cutting of dead skin also doesn't result in any transmission.
You are safe and need not worry.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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