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Chances of getting any disease from a safety pin if it is pricked to finger?

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Cosmetic & Plastic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2000
Answered : 249 Questions
Question 6 year old daughter and i was out last saturday at a clothing and jewelry store, i looked down and my daughter had a safetypin in her hand,it was open she told me she didnt prick her finger,but she tells lies from time to time,she might of pricked her finger and didnt want me to get upset w her, i looked at her fingers,therethere was no blood,but my worry is that someone before her pricked themself w the same safetypin,is there and chance she could of gotten any diseases,hiv,or hepititis b,c,should i be worried or am i over reacting,do i need to get my daughter tested for hiv,or hepititis b,or c..thankyou for responding,its very big deal to very concerned
Posted Wed, 27 Feb 2013 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Souvik Adhikari 2 hours later
Thanks for writing to us.
I don’t think you need to get your daughter tested.
Yes, this can be of concern to you since the safety pin was open. However, please note that propagation of diseases like HIV and Hepatitis B through a safety pin requires that the germs get access to the blood stream through a prick or in other words the safety pin should damage the blood vessels that are present in the skin.
Therefore, if you check her fingers and hand carefully and find no evidence of blood or a track in the skin due to bleeding then you can be reassured that the pin has not penetrated the skin and the chances of getting any infection is nearly nullified.
Additionally, I would like to inform you that the chances of getting infected by a safety pin are MUCH LESS compared to a hollow needle. The reason is that the safety pin is solid and can contain much less amount of contaminated blood compared to a hollow needle.
Also, microbes like HIV, when kept exposed to the air for some time lose their infectivity therefore even if contaminated, the chances of getting infection through the same is much less with increased duration of exposure.
Worldwide, there have been only a few incidences of getting infection by this method and all of those had OBVIOUS bleeding from a prick.
Therefore, you can be rest assured that the chances of your daughter getting infected from what you have described are NEARLY NIL. Despite this, if you feel concerned, you can contact an infectious disease specialist to allay your fear but I feel this is typically not required.
Even in our surgical patients such an incidence would not mandate additional testing therefore there is no need of being afraid or subject the child to additional testing!
Let me know if you have any more questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Chances of getting any disease from a safety pin if it is pricked to finger? 17 hours later
Thankyou for responding to my definitely put my mind at ease.i just have a nother question for i said in my last question i checked her hands for a pinprick or blood and dudnt see any blood,but im becoming obsessed with this situation,and its really bothering me..if she did get stuck w the safetypin and there was blood and i didnt see it,is there more reason to be concerned.i have a real fear of my daughter getting a disease like hiv hepititis b or hepititis c..i know once hiv is exposed to air it dies,but i read hepititis b and c can live outside body for if she pricked her finger and i didnt see where she pricked her finger,is that a concern for likely would it b for her to get hiv,hepititis b,or c threw a sorry im just really worried.should i get her tested or do you think im obsessing over nothing,thanks again for your time
Answered by Dr. Souvik Adhikari 1 hour later

As I mentioned before, the chances of getting Hep B or C with a hollow needle is much more than when compared to a safety pin. There is one more point: if she had pricked her finger somewhere followed by some bleeding then there would have been a XXXXXXX definitely in one of the fingers and the affected area would remain tender for quite a few days. If there is nothing like that, then you can be assured that nothing sinister is going to happen. It is not useful to test her at this stage because there is something called a loading dose without which infection cannot occur. In her case, I would ask you to stop worrying and ignore the matter completely. However, I know that it is better said than done so at least I can ask you to keep trying!!!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Chances of getting any disease from a safety pin if it is pricked to finger? 2 hours later
Thankyou sooo much.i appreciate you working with have easef my mind,i will stop worring about this situation.can i ask you one more question.u mentioned something called a loaded dose what does that to bother you,get back to me whenever you can,no rush,i know u probably busy..thanks again
Answered by Dr. Souvik Adhikari 15 minutes later
Suppose if 1 virus or bacteria enters the body it will not be able to cause infection: for infection to occur, there must be a minimum number of these micro-organisms that must enter the body. This is known as loading dose. Great to know that I have been able to ease your mind! Take care!!
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