Hospitals and doctors' offices are places that individuals go to get treated for illnesses, but sometimes they can be the most dangerous locations to obtain devastating sicknesses as well. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, needlestick injuries are a very real threat in medical malpractice and in the practice of medicine. These are injuries which occur when an individual is pricked by a needlestick or sharp that was previously used on another ill patient.
If you have been injured by a needlestick and exposed to the blood or fluids of another patient in a doctor's office or hospital, you need to take the following steps immediately:
First, wash any wounds with soap and water. This is because you will want to clean out the cut in hopes of ridding your body of infection. The biggest danger with needlestick injuries is the possibility of contracting HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C from the fluids that were on or in the needlestick.
Second, it is important that you flush your nose, mouth, and skin with water to try and rid the fluids from your body. You can never be too careful when your health is on the line, and it is very important that you strive to avoid any contact with blood and fluid that could carry extremely contagious and untreatable infections.
Third, if you are injured by a needlestick then you need to irrigate your eyes with clean water. You can also use saline or other sterile irrigants. The CDC highly suggests this practice because it is common for people to wipe their eyes after touching a wound and this can spread the infection once again.
Lastly, it is essential that you seek medical treatment for a needlestick injury. You will want a doctor to investigate your situation and run tests to ensure that you have not developed a blood borne illness from a needlestick injury. If you develop this illness while working in medicine, and the accident could have been prevented by another party, then you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries.
Needlestick injuries are a very real threat and can be extremely dangerous, leaving workers or patients with permanent and life-threatening illnesses. If you are a patient who was injured because of a nurse or doctor's negligence and suffered a needlestick injury, then you also need to seek compensation from the hospital for their careless behavior.