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As a Phlebotomist it is always a concern that an accidental stick might occur sometime throughout your career. The journal that I read from published through “Clinical Advisor,” discussed an incident with a phlebotomist in the emergency department. A man called “Mr. P,” was a phlebotomist in a hospital where he worked as well as in the lab. Mr. P went to take a patient’s blood sample on a busy Saturday night when his patient who was mentally unstable attacked him with the needle that he had already used to take her blood sample with. Mr P then learned from another physician in the hospital that the patient is HIV positive as well as having hepatitis C.
Mr. P was advised to see an infectious-disease specialist right away. Months passed as the medication he was on turned his usually happy, light-hearted personality changed drastically into a moody and depressed person. Not only did his life at work change after the incident, his co-workers look at him with pity and the treatments made him ill, but it also affected his personal life with his family. He was afraid to make love to his wife or share a toothbrush with his child. Even though he was told by the specialist that he was 95% not likely to contract HIV or hepatitis, he still had to wait months to find out for sure until he could relax. He sued the hospital stating that the nurses had neglected to tell him that the patient was unstable and about her medical diagnosis. Claiming that if he had known he would have taken more precaution around the patient. Minimizing the risk of the incident ever happening. Mr. P won the lawsuit gaining $375,000 in damages.
This pertains to a phlebotomist because it shows how incidents like this do happen on occasion and that a phlebotomist should always take the right precautions regardless of knowing the medical status of a patient or not. This also showed the risk phlebotomist take everyday that they are at a higher risk of contracting certain diseases. As well as showing the outcome and severity of even just coming in contact with that kind of risk. Mr. P’s life changed, at his employment and his personal life even though he was told that he was 95% likely not to end up developing HIV or hepatitis, he still had to wait six months to find out 100%.
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