[Question #192] Reused needle

97 months ago
Hi, I've been worried for the last couple of weeks that the phlebotomist reused the needle. I understand that sounds nuts and irrational. I wasn't thinking of it anything until last week I noticed I had swollen lymph node on my neck which would fall right into the 2-5 weeks for ars symptoms. Also, the puncture mark was red, looked swollen and irritated  for a couple of weeks until a couple of days ago it started healing. If needle was reused what are the chances that you could acquire hiv this way?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
97 months ago
Welcome to the Forum.  If your phlebotomy was performed In a professional setting by a trained person, the risk that your swollen lymph node is due to,HIV is extraordinarily low.  Commercial phlebotomy needles, by design, cannot be used twice and medical personnel receive much training to make sure that there is no reuse of materials.  Further, even if the needle was reused, blood,was removed, not injected and the likelihood that whomever had their blood drawn before you is very low.  Finally it is statistically far more likely that you lymph node is due to the sort of every day viral infection we all get from time to time than HIV.

I urge you not to worry.  If you are and want the comfort of a blood,test however, at any time more than4 weeks after your blood was drawn, a 4th generation, combination HIV antigen/antibody test will provide you with definitive results and, I am confident, prove that you did not acquire HIV from your phlebotomy.

I hope my comments are helpful.  E.WH