Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Accidental Needle Sticks: Chances of Infection

Font Size

Topic Overview

Everyone is concerned about getting a contagious disease, such as hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), from a used needle. Most people are not considered at high risk for these infections, even if they accidentally come into contact with infected blood or body fluids.

Transmission of HIV from an accidental contact is extremely rare. The degree of risk depends on:

Recommended Related to Health A-Z

Ferroportin Disease

Important It is possible that the main title of the report Ferroportin Disease is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

Read the Ferroportin Disease article > >

  • How much infected blood you are exposed to.
  • The amount of the virus present in the blood. People who have symptoms or those who are very sick with the disease tend to have greater amounts of the virus in their blood.

Protect yourself from accidental exposure by disposing of sharp objects properly and wearing protective gloves. The hepatitis B vaccine is safe and effective in preventing hepatitis B, so be sure to have current immunizations.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following steps if you have any exposure to blood:

  • Wash needle sticks and cuts with soap and water.
  • Use water to flush splashed blood from your nose, mouth, or skin.
  • Wash your eyes with a steady stream of clean water, saltwater solution (saline), or a sterile irrigant.
  • Do not squeeze a puncture wound or cut, and do not wash the affected area with antiseptics or bleach.

Call your doctor right away. In some cases, medicine to prevent infection may be recommended and should be started right away.

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 06, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Accidental Needle Sticks: Chances of Infection Topics

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

feet
Solutions for 19 types.
highlighted areas of the brain
How well do you know yours?
oatmeal and eggs
The best and worst for you.
dog begging at table
Foods your dog should never eat.
MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
mature woman with serious expression
What do you know?
chlamydia
Pictures and facts.
Healthy Snack
13 delicious options.
Take your medication
Separate fact from fiction.
lone star tick
How to identify that bite.
young woman in sun
What to watch for.
woman clutching at stomach
Do you know what's causing yours?

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.