[Question #4527] Blood Draw

29 months ago
Hello. Here is my situation. 
I suffer from OCD a bit. I was in a hospital to draw blood. There was a chair where all patients sit (not to draw blood, just when talking to a doctor as she asks questions). 
Nurse sometimes would touch that chair to move it etc. Even after she put her gloves on, she touched the chair for a second.
So, anyway. 
I was moved to another place, my blood was drawn from the vein OK, nurse put some band aid on it, but it did not stick very well. 
About 30 minutes later I was called for results , nurse asked me to take off my shirt with long sleeves to check blood pressure. I put the shirt inside out (as I took it off) and put it on the chair I was talking about earlier (where all patients sit and nurse touches and sits on as well. She sat on it when she drew my blood, but otherwise patients just sit on it when talking to a doctor about test results etc). After blood pressure was taken, i put the shirt with sleeves on and went home. As I came home and got undressed to take a shower, I noticed my band aid was very loose, and did not stick very well on one . Since my shirt touched the chair (it was lying on it) and then I assumed COULD touch the puncture wound, is there a possibility of HIV or HEP C transmision in this situation? I did not see any blood on the band aid (apart from one small dot of mine blood) and did not see any blood on the shirt, but I am still very scared for some reason and kicking myself for putting the shirt on the back of that chair. 
Have there been any evidence of transmission in situations like these? Also is it OK she touched chair after she put gloves on, but she disinfected her hands (with gloves) just before she touched my arm. Thank you
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
29 months ago
Welcome to the forum. Thanks for your question and your confidence in our services.

The answer to your closing question ("Have there been any evidence...?") is a resounding "NO". Nobody in the world has been known to catch HIV, HCV, or any other blood borne virus in the past 20-30 years, i.e. since the end of the era of re-using needles and other blood drawing equipment. The details you describe do not suggest the slightest risk that infected blood could have been introduced into your blood stream, or on your skin, or could otherwise infect you. 

No risk, no worries, and for sure do not think of getting tested for HIV or anything else on account of these events. And please don't let your OCD tempt you to ask follow-up "what if" questions about it. There is no scenario you can think of that would change my opinion or advice! (But do let me know if anything isn't clear in my response.)

Best wishes--  HHH, MD

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