Needle-stick Guideline Follow-up

Updated: Oct 13, 2017
  • Author: Megan A Stobart-Gallagher, DO; Chief Editor: Jeter (Jay) Pritchard Taylor, III, MD  more...
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Follow-up

Further Outpatient Care

Follow up with occupational health or infectious disease in 24-72 hours.

Discuss need for safe sex practices until follow-up laboratory testing is negative for HIV. Most now recommend a follow-up screen at 3 or 6 months.

If postexposure prophylaxis is recommended, the full 28-day course must be completed. Studies have shown that compliance with the recommendations is poor, likely owing to the side effect profile. [13]

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Inpatient & Outpatient Medications

Antiretrovirals, as indicated, by the 3-step assessment process (see Treatment section)

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Deterrence/Prevention

Universal precautions [14]

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Complications

Life-long infection

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Prognosis

Most health care workers with occupational exposure to body fluids do not develop disease. For those who do, prognosis is the same as for other routes of transmission.

For more specific information, see the relevant Medscape Reference topic.

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Patient Education

Refer to occupational health for extensive patient education. Having a brochure available to be given out in the ED is helpful to alleviate fear.

For excellent patient education resources, visit eMedicineHealth's Infections Center. Also, see eMedicineHealth's patient education article Tetanus.

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