[Question #5244] Contact with blood
24 months ago
This weekend, I was hosting a bridal shower for a friend in my home. At one point, I noticed the bathroom needed restocking so I went upstairs to grab supplies. When I returned, a guest had used the restroom in the time I was gone and left a dribble of blood-tinged urine on the toilet seat (so very fresh, presumably urine tinged with period blood)). Without really thinking, I grabbed a small wad of toilet paper and wiped the seat off. At that same moment, another guest knocked over a tray of teacups in the kitchen, scattering broken China everywhere. I ran to the kitchen to help clean up. About 30-45 min later, we finally sat down to eat. I ate an entire roll by hand before it dawned on me that I never washed my hands after I wiped off the toilet with toilet paper! I got distracted by the kitchen mess and it slipped my mind. I got up immediately and washed my hands, but I'm fearful that if some of the bloody urine had soaked through the toilet paper and gotten on my hand, I could have ingested it via the roll. To make matters worse, after the shower was over and I was further cleaning, I ended up severely cutting my hand on a piece of broken China that was missed earlier. My friend helped me keep pressure on the wound and wrapped it up before driving me to the ER. While she was driving me back from the ER, I noticed she had a small healing cut on her own hand. So, here are my questions (please forgive my paranoia, I'm currently pregnant with twins): 1. If the individual who left the drop of bloody period urine on my toilet seat were infected with HIV or Hepatitis, would I be at risk of contracting either of them if some got on my hand and I later (30-45 min) ate food directly with that hand without washing? I am pregnant so my gums are sensitive and bleed when flossing. 2) If my friend had HIV or hepatitis and her healing cut made contact with my open and bleeding wound, would I be at risk of contracting either in the scenario I described? Thank you!
Edward W. Hook M.D.
24 months ago
Welcome to the Forum and thanks for your confidence in our service. I'm pleased to tell you that nothing about the sequence of events you describe suggests there is any risk for infection with hepatitis or HIV. Let me provide a bit more detail:
1. For starters, it is unlikely that either the person whose urine you cleaned up, or your friend had either infection. Most people do not.
2. Contact with bloody urine of a person with either hepatitis or HIV is not a risky exposure. I have never heard of infection transmitted in this way.
3. Eating material contaminated with blood, HIV, or hepatitis B or C would not lead to infection. Mathis is true even with gum problems or open sores in your mouth.
4. Contact of a fresh cut with a healing cut, even if your, friend did happen to be infected would not put you at risk for infection.
Bottom line, this series of unfortunate events did not put you at risk for HIV, hepatitis or other problems. There is no reason for concern and no reason for testing.
I hope this response is helpful to you. I know that pregnancy quite appropriately increases you level of concern but again, there is no risk. EWH---