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Author Topic: Improper Use of a Sharps Disposal Box Caused My NSI  (Read 16312 times)

Christi, RN

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Improper Use of a Sharps Disposal Box Caused My NSI
« on: May 30, 2007, 01:06:10 PM »

My NSI was due to a careless colleague using the sharps box to dispose of a used heplock -- tape and all.  The tape caused the heplock to stick to the sharps-box dropper.  This then caused the contaminated needle and syringe that I was disposing of, to bounce back out. I was stuck in the finger. After a few choice words, I proceeded to the sink for some first-aid.
 
I had to be tested for all kinds of infectious diseases. The patient, too, had to be tested.  The results came back from Employee Health stating that I was positive for hepatitis. I was so scared. How could this be?  Anyone else would have been drawing up a will and suffering from severe depression.  But I knew there was a more definitive test. I went to my personal physician for this testing.  Turns out, I tested negative for hepatitis, as well as other infectious diseases.  Not satisfied, I had another test three months later. It, too, was negative.  Because of a careless colleague, I spent months worrying and stressing out over my future, my health. This all could have been avoided if the nurse had taken the time to dispose of her sharps properly.
 
Part of my job is to care for staff who have needle stick injuries. Some are caused by combative patients, while others are caused by nurses trying to recap needles or because they were just distracted.  I am responsible for talking with that staff member, completing their paperwork, obtaining blood specimens from the staff member who was stuck, as well as the patient whose blood was in the needle at the time of the stick.  If the patient\'s HIV status is already known to be positive, the staff member who was stuck is counseled immediately by an infectious disease MD, and the staff member is immediately placed on prophylaxis medications.  The staff member then follows up with employee health and ID for the course of their treatment.
                     
--Anonymous
(Posted for "Anonymous" by Christi, RN)
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