Saturday, January 19, 2008

The DNA content of locker room key pins

I wondered about this many years ago, but we didn't have blogs then.

We don't reuse needles in health care. When someone is accidentally stuck by a used needle, it's a big deal ...
Medical Staff Update - Chief of Staff

...When a needle stick occurs, the health-care worker should go to Employee Health if that office is open (usually between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m.); otherwise, exposed staff members should report to the Emergency Department. The Emergency Department or Employee Health nurse will start the process of getting blood drawn from the source patient during the initial risk assessment. This will include completion of an employee-accident injury form.

Exposed staff members will be screened for HIV antibody, HBsAb, HCV antibody and HCV PCR qualitative...
Of course not all sticks are equal. A superficial scrape is not the same as a jab deep into muscle.

Which brings me to those pins that hang from swimming pool locker room keys. I just used one of those today, and, as has happened many times before, I managed to poke myself. I didn't draw blood, but I noticed.

Those pins have probably been around for over 10 years, each pin has probably stuck over a hundred people. I wonder what the DNA on the pins looks like. Wouldn't it be interesting to know what the Hepatitis C viral titer is?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have hepc, and my doctor stuck her finger after drawing my blood, when I was at 1.25 million varmits/bucket. The rate of infection is 2%, and she's ok. HIV is 20%, and hepB is higher again.