Needle Stick Injury and HIV- What Are the Risks?

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Needle Stick Injury and HIV- What Are the Risks?

Needle Stick Injury and HIV – Show Me the Facts…

There have been a number of clinical studies which have looked into the risk of being contaminated with the HIV virus following a Needle Stick Injury.

These studies seem to confirm that the risk is mercifully really quite low at around just 0.30%.

Even though the statistical chances of contracting the HIV virus is remote this will certainly not mean that needle stick victims are unconcerned about the situation. In practice they will need to undergo testing at various intervals and then with clear results before they can start to feel reassured.

What can increase the chances of HIV from a Needle Stick Injury?

It appears that the main reason for such a low transmission rate is the fact that Needle Stick injuries tend to involve a tiny proportion of blood transference but what factors can increase the risk of contracting HIV?

  • The depth of the Needle Stick Injury which if deep leads to a higher chance of blood being transferred;
  • The type of the Needle – hollow bore needles are known to carry a higher risk of HIV infection.
  • Whether the Needle Stick Injury penetrates a vein or artery;
  • The presence of blood on the offending Needle Stick;
  • Whether the Needle Stick causing the injury emanated from a patient who was terminally ill from the HIV infection (which will generally mean there is a a high viral load).

What Happens in the worst case scenario and HIV is contracted?

If there is a serious risk of the victim having been exposed to the HIV virus then  Post-Exposure prophylaxis (PEP) needs to be offered on an urgent basis and this is because the benefit of the treatment reduces as time passes. By around 72 hours the treatment can still be effective but beyond this timescale whether there is any benefit is a real issue. Usually the course of treatment lasts 28 days.

Finding the right Needle Stick Injury Claim Solicitors?

If you think that you have a Needle Stick Injury claim, would like to have a chat about a potential claim or require further information, contact us now.

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