Everyone is concerned about getting a contagious disease, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), from a used needle. Most people are not considered at high risk for these infections, even if they accidentally come into contact with infected blood or body fluids.
There probably isn't much risk of getting these viruses if infected blood comes into contact with intact skin. But the risk may be higher with a stick from a used needle. The degree of risk depends on:
Protect yourself from accidental exposure by disposing of sharp objects properly and wearing protective gloves. The hepatitis B vaccine is safe and effective in preventing hepatitis B, so be sure to have current immunizations.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following steps if you have any exposure to blood:
Call your doctor right away. In some cases, medicine may be recommended and should be started right away.
|Primary Medical Reviewer||William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||David Messenger, MD|
|Last Revised||June 10, 2010|
Last Revised: June 10, 2010
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & David Messenger, MD
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