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Suggest treatment for needle phobia

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Posted on Thu, 17 Dec 2015
Question: I have a needle phobia really bad. I went to the dentist and had work done. I didn't see them use a new needle so I got worried so then I went and had an hiv test done the results came back negative for hiv. But know I'm worried that the girl who drew my blood for the hiv test didn't use a new needle . I live in California is it true that all the needles used to draw blood are single use needles and can't be used twice. My anxiety is getting the best of me. I can't go back and get retested my doctor will think I'm crazy. Please help me with this problem.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail (34 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
The blood collection needle gets locked and cannot be used again

Detailed Answer:
Hi XXXX,
Thanks for writing in to us.

I have read through your query in detail.
Please find my observations below.

1. In recent days, the needles used for blood collection get locked once the blood is drawn and transferred to the tube. This will not allow the needle to be exposed a second time for use. The needle also cannot be inserted once it is used. The needle has to be discarded after single use.

2. It is usual to feel insecure about laboratory practices and the fact that a needle is being used again on you. Please relax and know that laboratory standards are evolving everyday and you are safe after the test.

3. The license of any laboratory not using standard procedures will be cancelled and besides the blood collection needles are designed such that it cannot be used more than once.

Hope your query is answered.
Please do write back if you have any doubts.

Regards,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Vivek Chail (38 minutes later)
So your saying im 100 percent ok and my fears are irrational. Also would it benifit me to maybe try lexapro or an anxiety med
Thanks so much for your help
doctor
Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail (22 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
You can try to overcome anxiety without the use of medicines at first

Detailed Answer:
Hi XXXX,
Thanks for writing back with an update.

1. I am certain that you are 100 percent safe and there has been no mistake in doing the test and the needle used was new.

2. I believe that you can stop your anxiety by getting to the root of the matter as we have been discussing. I am ready to clarify all your doubts on the subject of HIV infection and the unnecessary fear that you have been experiencing in the last few days. Clear conversation and detailed discussion can help you to get a clear concept about HIV infection and that you are not at risk of getting HIV infection.

3. Lexapro is escitalopram and is used in the treatment of anxiety. However I would prefer that you overcome your anxiety and fears without taking any medicine. This can be either through exchange of information with doctors like me over the internet or if you can approach a mental health professional who can provide cognitive behavior therapy. We are always ready to help you and I am sure your anxiety will stop once you know that it is impossible for you to get infected by HIV virus.

Hope your query is answered.
Please do write back if you have any doubts.

Regards,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vinay Bhardwaj
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Follow up: Dr. Vivek Chail (4 hours later)
I have a great wife and 3 great kids but i worry alot about my health. My mom was the same way i believe its hereditary. I was doing great for 2 years no problems then it all started up again when i had a cavity and the dentist gave me a shot of novican. I told my doctor about my concerns with needles so she suggested just for pieace of mind to have a blood test done for hiv. results came back negative which deep down inside my mind i knew they would. I should have been happy well i was for 2 days then i started thinking what if the girl that drew my blood didnt use a new needle. She was great i told her about my dentist visit and she said she didnt blame me shes the same way so she drew my blood and dropped my needle in the red container. Most normal people would have walked out and never thought about it. But not me so thats my story i just need to let go of these thoughts My wife tells me just dont think about things like that . Thats easier said than done the mind is powerful..
doctor
Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail (7 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Request you to please write in with dentist and blood collection dates

Detailed Answer:
Hi XXXX,
Thanks for writing back with an update.

1. It is true that sometimes you have some thoughts stuck deep in your mind and it disturbs you even when you know that you should not be worrying about it. Your needle phobia and fear of contracting HIV from that single dentist visit and following blood collection for HIV testing is one such thought. Let us discuss the events a bit more in detail so that you can convince your inner self that you are completely safe.

1. The dentist will take every precaution to dispose needles which are previously used. We have dental sets and tools which are used fresh for every patient. I mean the kit is sterilized and opened and the needles are also unpacked at the time of use. There are many trained dental nurses and you can try and talk to one of them.

2. HIV infection occurs only when there is mixing of contaminated blood and body fluids from a HIV source to a host. In real the HIV virus is weak and is destroyed in the air in a minute. The HIV infections which are transmitted through needles is usually by immediate sharing of needles among drug abusers. The spread of HIV infection through needles is almost unheard of now days due to strict precautions and awareness.

3. In the blood collection center, the person drawing your blood promptly threw the used needle away. That is her usual practice and she did the same for the patient before you. The usual practice is to open a new needle when the patient is ready to give the sample. I guess you have looked in to the red container and found the used needles inside it.

4. It is wonderful that you have a great family and all of you are healthy. I am convinced that the visit to the dentist and blood collection center did not put you at any risk for HIV infection.

5. Can I request you to please write in with details of your dentist visit and blood collection with the dates when you visited them. Please upload a copy of your HIV result if possible. With the above details we can discuss and try and be convinced that you are completely safe.

Looking forward to hearing from you with requested details.

Regards,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
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Answered by
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Dr. Vivek Chail

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Practicing since :2002

Answered : 6865 Questions

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Suggest treatment for needle phobia

Brief Answer: The blood collection needle gets locked and cannot be used again Detailed Answer: Hi XXXX, Thanks for writing in to us. I have read through your query in detail. Please find my observations below. 1. In recent days, the needles used for blood collection get locked once the blood is drawn and transferred to the tube. This will not allow the needle to be exposed a second time for use. The needle also cannot be inserted once it is used. The needle has to be discarded after single use. 2. It is usual to feel insecure about laboratory practices and the fact that a needle is being used again on you. Please relax and know that laboratory standards are evolving everyday and you are safe after the test. 3. The license of any laboratory not using standard procedures will be cancelled and besides the blood collection needles are designed such that it cannot be used more than once. Hope your query is answered. Please do write back if you have any doubts. Regards,