Needles and Pins PART II - JENNIFER'S DILEMMA by Lynn D. Austin Western Kentucky University Jennifer...

Needles and Pins PART II - JENNIFER'S DILEMMA by Lynn D. Austin Western Kentucky University Jennifer frantically runs to the nearest sink. When she looks at her finger, she sees blood under the glove; when she takes the glove off all she can see is what looks like a lot of blood on her finger. She begins washing her finger with soap and squeezing it to extrude blood from the puncture wound. Meanwhile, back at the chair, George calls over Dr. Daly, the closest instructor on the floor. Dr. Daly is a 60-year-old retired Navy prosthodontist who has been at the dental school on a volunteer basis for about six months. When George tells him what happened, he tells them, "Don't worry about it. I've been stuck more times than I can count. The risk of getting anything is negligible. Just go ahead and keep working."

Answer the following questions:

6. Were the students given the correct advice about continuing their work? 7. Were the students given the correct advice about the risk of disease transmission being negligible? 8. Was Jennifer in compliance with post-exposure protocol?

Homework Answers

Answer #1

Question: Were the student given the correct advice about continuing their work?

Answer: No. The instructor has given a wrong advice to the student that saying ' just go ahead and keep working' without given a first aid advice. From the above sited senario, we can assume that the student has got a sharp injury while at work.

According to CDC guidelines, if anyone get needlestick or sharps injury and exposed to the  blood or other body fluid of a patient during the course of the their work has to  immediately follow the following steps:

  • Wash needlesticks sharp injury and site with soap and water
  • Should not squeeze the site.
  • Report the incident to your supervisor
  • Immediately seek medical treatment

These steps were not followed , so continuing work without medical treatment is wrong.

Question: Were the students given the correct advice about risk disease transmission being negligible?

Answer: No. The instructor has not given the correct advice regarding the risk of disease transmission. It is not negligible.

The risk of a healthcare profession for developing any infection ( disease transmission) depends on the type of needle / sharps used, the severity of the injury, type of organism in the patient's blood, and prior vaccination status.

In the above sited scenario, the source( patient information ) is unknown. If an injury occurs in the setting of an infected patient source, there is a greater risk of getting blood borne disease. The risk of disease transmission varies for HIV, HBV, and HCV

Question: Was Jennifer in complaince with post exposure prophylaxis?

Answer: No. No evidence is given that student has undergone medical treatment / given post exposure prophylaxis for the injury.

  • Rates of disease transmission can be  significantly reduced with timely and appropriate post-exposure antiviral prophylaxis.
  • Post-exposure antiviral prophylaxis exists for HIV and HBV.
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