[Question #3943] Accidental Needle Stick

32 months ago

Hi, we’re on vacation in Southern California and we took a cab back to our hotel. When we got out of the cab, and the cab pulled away, our 13 year old daughter announced she had a needle in her hand.  My wife looked and pulled it out.  It was super thin.  It could’ve been a really thin needle, syringe tip, or something else sharp.  The reason we don’t know is the object fell on the ground while we prepped to inspect and we couldn’t locate due to the terrain.  We tried for quite some time to locate.  We’re really worried about various diseases.  Is it possible please contract HIV or anything else in this scenario?  Should we get her on some sort of anti-viral treatment?  Thanks

Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
32 months ago
Welcome to our Forum.  I'll try to help.  In all probability, what stuck your daughter was not a needle.  If it were a needle, I suspect you would see it's hollow core and there would be a visible hub to the needle.  My guess is that this was some sort of wire.  Even in the unlikely circumstance that it was a needle the likelihood it was contaminated with HIV (or any other blood borne infection) is exceedingly low.,  finally, while there are truly and handful of cases of HIV acquired through environmental needle sticks of this sort, they are extraordinarily rare and I have never personally seen or directly heard of such a case.

You do not mention whether the object that stuck your daughter drew blood or not.  If it did not I certainly would not worry about this event.

Having said that,  I know that our children are the most important thing to parents and situations such as this are exceedingly unsettling.  Nonetheless, if I were you, I would not place my own child on similar preventative therapy, nor would I have them test at a future time related to this event.  Each situation and person's experience is their own.  As an FYI however, I am at a meeting with Dr. Handsfield sitting next to me and he agrees with my assessment and recommendation.  EWH
---