+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 21
  1. #1
    acomputerdude is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    3

    Question possible used/dirty needle flu shot

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Illinois

    I got a flu shot provided by the company I work for and the 3rd party company nurse that administered the shot screwed up. I got a shot and she said in a shaky/nervous voice "oh that was an empty needle" and quickly grabbed another one and got me again.

    Here's the problem:
    [LIST=1][*]She acted scared.[*]There were people ahead of me getting shots.[*]She quickly threw the two used needles in the biohazard trash.[*]There were no other needles laying on the work table so I find it hard to believe that the first one was "empty" and not a "used empty" needle.[*]The other nurse across the table got a nervous look on her face.[/LIST]

    Three things could of happened but in the meantime I'm worried and so is my wife and wonder what I should do. The three things are:
    [LIST=1][*]I got stuck with someones used/dirty needle.[*]I got stuck with an empty needle.[*]I got two flu shots.[/LIST]

    I contacted my family care doctor and they said that if they get "stuck" by a used needle then they get tested and that they would be concerned as I am but this and I should probably get tested for hepatitis and HIV. I don't think that I should have to pay for it and tried calling the company that administered the shot and only got voice mail and no response as of yet.

    Any and all advise would be greatly appreciated. I'm wondering if I need a attorney to get them to pay for my testing and if there are any recourses for their neglect and my distress.
  2. #2
    seniorjudge is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    St. Odo of Cluny Parish
    Posts
    29,533
    Get the tests immediately.

    Keep all documentation.

    Then sue the bad people in small claims court.
    There are two rules for success:

    (1) Never tell everything you know.
  3. #3
    lealea1005 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    supratentorial region
    Posts
    2,603
    Answers to:

    1. Get tested for Hepatitis and HIV. Worry about being reimbursed later.

    2. Empty needle shouldn't be a problem since it's only going into your muscle. Your arm may be sore. If you get a hot, red area or increased pain at the injection site, see a Physician and save the bills.

    3. You may (or may not) have flu-like symptoms from being injected with the vaccine twice, but no long term problems.

    Can you tell me if the vaccine was already in pre-filled syringes or did the tech/nurse draw each dose from a multidose vial?
    Last edited by lealea1005; 11-14-2008 at 09:14 AM.
  4. #4
    j991 is offline Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    206
    You need to pay for the test yourself. It is more important that you get tested than fighting over the costs.

    You're in a tough spot and have several things going against you in this case. First, you don't know if it was a dirty needle or not. Second, if it was a dirty needle that contained a virus like HIV, the person in front of you would have to be infected, so you would need to know exactly who was in front of you.

    If the test come back postive then contact your employer, and get a lawyer!
  5. #5
    acomputerdude is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by lealea1005 View Post
    Answers to:

    1. Get tested for Hepatitis and HIV. Worry about being reimbursed later.

    2. Empty needle shouldn't be a problem since it's going into your muscle. Your arm may be sore.

    3. You may (or may not) have flu-like symptoms from being injected with the vaccine twice, but no long term problems.

    Can you tell me if the vaccine was already in pre-filled syringes or did the tech/nurse draw each dose from a multidose vial?
    1. Good advise, thanks.
    2. I agree but just wanted to point it out that I knew this is one of the possibilities. Not seeing other needles on the work table makes it unlikely though.
    3. That's what I'm hoping.

    It appeared that the needles were preloaded. I saw the nurse actually "crack" the second needle open.

    Thanks
  6. #6
    lealea1005 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    supratentorial region
    Posts
    2,603
    If the syringes were preloaded, it increases the possibility that the "empty" syringe/needle was used. It's very rare, but not impossible, to have a sterile, empty syringe in a box of preloaded flu vaccine syringes.

    Get the Hepatitis & HIV testing done, if for no other reason, you own peace of mind. It'll be well worth the cost.
  7. #7
    xylene is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    St. Richard's
    Posts
    8,750
    Get the HIV test multiple times.

    The incubation period can be substantial.

    You need to worry about this for 6 months or more.

    However, HIV is difficult to transmit, even via a used needle.
  8. #8
    Gail in Georgia is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    4,708
    In regards to when you should go through the actual testing...

    An HIV and hepatitis screening done now will be useless. Both tests screen for antibodies the immune system begins to crank out after transmission has taken place. It takes a while for these antibodies to reach levels in the blood where they can be picked up by current screening tests.

    The recommended time period for testing is 90 days after the potential exposure. HIV testing done at 30 days is considered to be 95 percent accurate; that is, 95 percent of newly infected folks will have enough antibodies present to be picked up by the standard ELISA screening test. By 90 days this percentage has risen to 99.9+ percent.

    Even assuming that this needle was used previously on a person who was HIV or hepatitis positive, your risk of infection is extremely small. In the case of flu injections, there is no need to inject directly into a vein and thus the syringe is not drawn back before injecting the vaccine and neither the inside bore of the needle or the syringe would contain blood.

    This is different from injections that need to go directly into a vein. In those cases the needle is injected and then drawn back to confirm it's in an artery or vein. It is this blood that would contain these viruses in a person infected with HIV or hepatitis.


    Gail
  9. #9
    acomputerdude is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    3
    Thank you all for the excellent information.
  10. #10
    lya
    lya is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    1,247
    Quote Originally Posted by acomputerdude View Post
    Thank you all for the excellent information.
    You did receive excellent information.

    Next time, don't sit there, confront the healthcare provider that you think acted in error. Don't leave the facility without getting your complaint to someone in a position of authority, write down the names of those to whom you reported the potential error.

    FYI--I think the nurse stuck you with a used flu shot syringe. I don't think it was just "empty".
  11. #11
    ajkroy is online now Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    432
    Quote Originally Posted by Gail in Georgia View Post
    In regards to when you should go through the actual testing...

    An HIV and hepatitis screening done now will be useless. Both tests screen for antibodies the immune system begins to crank out after transmission has taken place. It takes a while for these antibodies to reach levels in the blood where they can be picked up by current screening tests.

    The recommended time period for testing is 90 days after the potential exposure. HIV testing done at 30 days is considered to be 95 percent accurate; that is, 95 percent of newly infected folks will have enough antibodies present to be picked up by the standard ELISA screening test. By 90 days this percentage has risen to 99.9+ percent.

    Gail
    I disagree with this slightly. If the OP is tested now, she will have documentation of negative testing (assuming she IS negative). It will make it easier to prove her case if she tests positive later.

    OP, good luck.
  12. #12
    lealea1005 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    supratentorial region
    Posts
    2,603
    Quote Originally Posted by lya View Post
    You did receive excellent information.

    Next time, don't sit there, confront the healthcare provider that you think acted in error. Don't leave the facility without getting your complaint to someone in a position of authority, write down the names of those to whom you reported the potential error.

    FYI--I think the nurse stuck you with a used flu shot syringe. I don't think it was just "empty".
    I agree, especially given the fact that the vaccine came in preloaded syringes.
  13. #13
    wyett717 is offline Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    459
    In regards to when you should go through the actual testing...

    An HIV and hepatitis screening done now will be useless. Both tests screen for antibodies the immune system begins to crank out after transmission has taken place. It takes a while for these antibodies to reach levels in the blood where they can be picked up by current screening tests.

    The recommended time period for testing is 90 days after the potential exposure. HIV testing done at 30 days is considered to be 95 percent accurate; that is, 95 percent of newly infected folks will have enough antibodies present to be picked up by the standard ELISA screening test. By 90 days this percentage has risen to 99.9+ percent.
    WRONG! You should get tested immediately after you suspect you have been exposed to HIV and/or Hepatitis. Even if nothing shows up right away, you can start taking preventive measures (i.e., the drug "****tail" that HIV patients use). So what if the results are more accurate after several months, OP needs at least some answers now. Good luck to you!
  14. #14
    xylene is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    St. Richard's
    Posts
    8,750
    Quote Originally Posted by wyett717 View Post
    WRONG! You should get tested immediately after you suspect you have been exposed to HIV and/or Hepatitis. Even if nothing shows up right away, you can start taking preventive measures (i.e., the drug "****tail" that HIV patients use). So what if the results are more accurate after several months, OP needs at least some answers now. Good luck to you!
    It is unlikely that the coqtail would be administered absent bona-fide evidence the poster was exposed to HIV.
  15. #15
    wyett717 is offline Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    459
    Perhaps that's just in my state then. If there is sufficient evidence (i.e. a needle stick), the patient will recieve the medications.

Similar Threads

  1. Needle prick
    By easley6 in forum Medical and Health Care Malpractice
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 03-31-2009, 08:33 AM
  2. Needle In Coat
    By levidenum in forum Dangerous or Defective Products
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-30-2007, 05:36 AM
  3. Sewing needle in food
    By laveyc in forum Other Personal Injury and Wrongful Death
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-20-2005, 08:00 PM
  4. needle in lung
    By camero94 in forum Dangerous or Defective Products
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 12-26-2002, 05:23 AM
  5. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-08-2001, 01:50 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

© 1995-2012 Advice Company, All Rights Reserved

FreeAdvice® has been providing millions of consumers with outstanding advice, free, since 1995. While not a substitute for personal advice from a licensed professional, it is available AS IS, subject to our Disclaimer and Terms & Conditions Of Use.