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What are the chances of hepatitis through needle prick?

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Posted on Mon, 14 Jul 2014
Question: I had an incident where I was trying to prick a friend finger with office pin to run a home HIV test. As soon as she felt the pain from the pin, she withdrew her hand sharply and my hand slipped and the pin pricked one of my fingers. I immediately squeezed out some blood from the spot and washed the place. I am not sure if the first unsuccessful prick made it to her blood. Then I re-pricked her finger and carried out the test, unexpectedly she was HIV positive. I went to the DR and got HIV PEP ( though the DR think I don’t need PEP for this) which I have now completed and tested at 5 weeks, negative
My concern now is on Heptatis A B and C ( especially Hepatis C). Am I at risk of these and do I need to test for them particularly for this incident. What is the risk of getting hepatitis ( especially C) from an incident like this.
doctor
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan (57 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Possibility of HCV is there,to be ruledout by test

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Welcome to HCM
Thanks for posting your query.

It is wiser decision that you had started and completed PEP for HIV.
When your girl friend had HIV unexpectedly, we can not rule out the possibility of she could also be positive for HCV. If she was positive for HCV, then the chance of getting HCV through needle prick is about 1.8%. The prick is by an office needle a solid needle. If it is a hollow bored needle the chances will be a little more.
So it is better to rule out the possibility of HCV, HBV by blood test.
Dr S.Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. S. Murugan (1 hour later)
Thank you Dr.

So it does not matter weather if is just the tip of the needle that touched the blood as she pulled her hand once she felt the pain. So can HCV be transmitted that easy by office needle head?

Also, what are the symptoms of hepatitis and when do they occur.

When is the best best time to test for these.

doctor
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan (4 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Testing for HCV and HBV is safer.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Welcome back.

We might not be sure whether the prick is skin deep or reached the vessel and how infectious.
HCV will manifest with loss of appetite, weakness, nausea, vomiting, vague abdominal discomfort,fever etc. after 6-10 weeks. Test will become positive around 4-8 weeks time. HCV and HBV are more infectious than HIV. But there is every possibility that your girl friend was not at all having HCV. So you need not get anxious unnecessarily.

Testing for HCV and HBV and ruling out is on the safer side.

Dr S.Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Vaishalee Punj
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. S. Murugan (1 hour later)
Thank you so much for your detailed answer and help.

Just one question. Can I still take Hep B vaccine 6 weeks after exposure or its too late
doctor
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan (7 hours later)
Brief Answer:
HBV vaccination useful if not already infected.

Detailed Answer:
Hi,
Welcome back.
It will be helpful for your future if you had not infected already. But don't imagine odd possibilities. You would not have anything serious.
Wish you a great day.
Dr S.Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Raju A.T
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Answered by
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Dr. S. Murugan

HIV AIDS Specialist

Practicing since :1974

Answered : 2947 Questions

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What are the chances of hepatitis through needle prick?

Brief Answer: Possibility of HCV is there,to be ruledout by test Detailed Answer: Hi, Welcome to HCM Thanks for posting your query. It is wiser decision that you had started and completed PEP for HIV. When your girl friend had HIV unexpectedly, we can not rule out the possibility of she could also be positive for HCV. If she was positive for HCV, then the chance of getting HCV through needle prick is about 1.8%. The prick is by an office needle a solid needle. If it is a hollow bored needle the chances will be a little more. So it is better to rule out the possibility of HCV, HBV by blood test. Dr S.Murugan