10 doctors weighed in:

Got a blood work and noticed that nurse touched the puncture site with unclean hands before drawing blood. Can I get infection like sepsis, hep, hiv?

10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Erin Robertson
General Practice
5 doctors agree

In brief: Yes, and no...

That's unacceptable.
The last thing that should touch your alcohol-swabbed skin is a fresh glove. Yes, that bare finger had microbes on it that were introduced through the needle, putting you at risk for a viremia, fungemia or bacteremia which may but probably won't *lead* to symptomatic sepsis & shock. If your immune system is compromised by chemo, transplant/rheum meds, or HIV, tell your doctor.

In brief: Yes, and no...

That's unacceptable.
The last thing that should touch your alcohol-swabbed skin is a fresh glove. Yes, that bare finger had microbes on it that were introduced through the needle, putting you at risk for a viremia, fungemia or bacteremia which may but probably won't *lead* to symptomatic sepsis & shock. If your immune system is compromised by chemo, transplant/rheum meds, or HIV, tell your doctor.
Dr. Erin Robertson
Dr. Erin Robertson
Thank
3 doctors agree

In brief: Bad technique

but low risk! The nurse/ tech drawing the blood would have to have the disease for you to have exposure to Hep, or HIV.
Hopefully she prepped the area with alcohol or antiseptic. Hopefully she washed her hands! For years blood drawing was done without gloves. We have better, sharper, cleaner needles and usually better technique than you saw. Report to the doctor or hospital for process improvemen

In brief: Bad technique

but low risk! The nurse/ tech drawing the blood would have to have the disease for you to have exposure to Hep, or HIV.
Hopefully she prepped the area with alcohol or antiseptic. Hopefully she washed her hands! For years blood drawing was done without gloves. We have better, sharper, cleaner needles and usually better technique than you saw. Report to the doctor or hospital for process improvemen
Dr. Creighton Wright
Dr. Creighton Wright
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1 comment
Dr. Erin Robertson
This is an important conversation given the Ebola pandemic. Viruses like HBV, HCV, and HIV don't survive outside the body. Enveloped virion particles (ex herpes, influenza, EBV, small pox & Ebola) do, however, survive on surfaces. So, sharing needles will put you at risk for hepatitis/HIV, but dirty hands and bad phlebotomy techniques can still introduce certain viruses. Use universal precautions!
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