« Go Back

cant decide the truth of needle

Question: 

hi
today i went for a blood test , at a registered medical lab which is dam super clean in yangon Myanmar , the nurse covered her hand with gloves , then cleaned the area of my arm with alcohol patch , and for drawing the blood she used multi sample collection needle , (venipuncture ), the issue is i did not see or i did not noticed that the multi sample collection needle was sealed or not , as u know or you remember they keep all these in a basket and pick one for the test , after the blood was drawn she threw it in dustbin , i am now being paranoid as if she has used a old one , or someone has touched the needle and then covered it again , can i get hiv or hepatitis or any other infection ,
or please tell that needle cap once opened cannot be put back , or what is the possibility that someone can get infected this way

I am in doubt , can a health worker do this , or how safe are these multi sample collection needles are , can there cap opened once cant be put back or what are the chances it was old or someone has just touched it and pack it back , my fault is i didnt noticed its seal but now i am being paranoid , how stupid i can be

i visited that lab again today morning , and saw everything again, the needles were in basket , sealed everyone , i asked their manager , she told me they only use needle once , but i am still paranoid

Answer: 

Hello and thank you for your inquiry.

We understand that you would like to know if it is possible to acquire HIV from having blood collected for HIV testing. This scenario is considered No Risk, meaning that HIV transmission is not possible for the given scenario.

It is extremely unlikely that a medical lab which provides HIV testing would re-use collection needles, particularly a lab which you say was clean. All the details you observed and shared here suggest that appropriate precautions and procedures were adhered to. The fact that you saw the nurse dispose of the needle after she used it on you would be evidence that they do not re-use needles. The fact that they have multiple collection needles in a basket would suggest that they do not have a shortage, and thus no motivation to recycle used needles.

When we talk about "sharing needles" as a high risk activity for transmission of HIV, we are referring to the sharing of hypodermic syringes for injection of intravenous drugs. With intravenous drug use, the user punctures the vein, and then draws their own blood into the air-tight chamber of the syringe to confirm placement, before injecting the contents into their vein. If a second person uses the needle in the same fashion, it is possible that they will inject some of the previous user's blood, which has not been exposed to air, into their vein. This is what makes sharing needles a high risk activity.

Needles used for blood sample collection are quite different. In the case of blood collection, nothing is being injected forward into the vein. The needle is used only to puncture the vein, and then the blood flows out. So if a person were tested with a used needle, the risk would be similar to an accidental needle-stick injury. Such injuries can occur for healthcare workers (occupational) or for the general public (community).

According to a 2003 study from the Centre for Disease Control, the average risk of HIV infection after a needlestick or cut exposure to HlV-infected blood is 0.3%. Stated another way, 99.7% of needlestick/cut exposures do not lead to infection. (1) Keep in mind that this data only includes exposures where the blood is known to contain HIV, so for situations where the status of the blood is unknown, the risk would be even further reduced.

In conclusion, it is extremely unlikely that a clinic would re-use needles for HIV testing, but even if they did so, the risk of transmitting HIV in this way would be very low.

Recommendation: No need for further HIV testing. Refer to your doctor for other health related questions.

Regards, AIDS Vancouver Helpline Volunteer, Dyson