HIV possibility

Posted by kwork @kwork, Jul 17, 2021

Hi, this probably is stupid but I’m kinda freaking out. I donated Plasma today and when I got to the chair I noticed a few drips, they looked dried but a little shiny. I asked the girl if it was blood so she looked close and taped it with her finger (she was wearing gloves) she looked at it and said it was probably just saline or something and had me sit down and continue. I will say she didn’t seem concerned at all and DID NOT change her gloves. From what I could tell nothing came up onto her gloves and that’s why she blew it off.

We continued and touched my arm where my vein is and then cleaned that spot and then continued to use a new needle and poke me. I did the donation and left.

I’ve been home for a few hours and can’t seem to let it go, is there a chance I got HIV? Maybe something microscopic got on her glove and maybe that somehow got on the needle and then into my bloodstream, is that possible or ridiculous??

I’m super nervous, please let me know what you think!

Interested in more discussions like this? Go to the Infectious Diseases group.

Hi @kwork Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Oh, I can just feel your anxiety! I hope I can help you relax and move on from this one. No one needs extra stressors in their life.

I agree the technician could have handled that situation a little better…have you move to another chair, re-sanitize your current chair, change her gloves, etc,. but your risk of contracting HIV or anything else would be minimal.
When giving plasma, you’re in a blood clinic so all the donors are screened for HIV and other blood borne pathogens such as hepatitis. They wouldn’t be in that chair. From experience the shininess of the dots on the chair sounds like saline or even dried disinfectant. Blood tends not to be shiny. I have 30+ years of infection control in a large dental practice and have seen similar dots on chairs even though they’d been completely sanitized. But I sure know how that can make a person feel if they’re not sure what ‘that spot’ is on the chair! Instant ick!

You were great to keep in mind the steps she followed after touching the chair. Makes it easy for me to visualize her next steps which seem entirely appropriate. She used an alcohol prep on your skin. That would also have disinfected her glove and the needle was new and sterile. She didn’t touch your skin near the needle, the needle itself or injection site after that. So you can relax and breathe a huge sigh of relief.

And personally, I want to thank you for giving Plasma. I had my share of the life saving fluid over the past 2 years. I’m grateful to you and the millions of others who regularly donate plasma, and all blood products.

I hope I’ve helped ease your anxiety today. ☺️
May I ask what you were searching for that brought you to Mayo Clinic Connect?

REPLY
@loribmt

Hi @kwork Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Oh, I can just feel your anxiety! I hope I can help you relax and move on from this one. No one needs extra stressors in their life.

I agree the technician could have handled that situation a little better…have you move to another chair, re-sanitize your current chair, change her gloves, etc,. but your risk of contracting HIV or anything else would be minimal.
When giving plasma, you’re in a blood clinic so all the donors are screened for HIV and other blood borne pathogens such as hepatitis. They wouldn’t be in that chair. From experience the shininess of the dots on the chair sounds like saline or even dried disinfectant. Blood tends not to be shiny. I have 30+ years of infection control in a large dental practice and have seen similar dots on chairs even though they’d been completely sanitized. But I sure know how that can make a person feel if they’re not sure what ‘that spot’ is on the chair! Instant ick!

You were great to keep in mind the steps she followed after touching the chair. Makes it easy for me to visualize her next steps which seem entirely appropriate. She used an alcohol prep on your skin. That would also have disinfected her glove and the needle was new and sterile. She didn’t touch your skin near the needle, the needle itself or injection site after that. So you can relax and breathe a huge sigh of relief.

And personally, I want to thank you for giving Plasma. I had my share of the life saving fluid over the past 2 years. I’m grateful to you and the millions of others who regularly donate plasma, and all blood products.

I hope I’ve helped ease your anxiety today. ☺️
May I ask what you were searching for that brought you to Mayo Clinic Connect?

Jump to this post

Thank you so much for your reply, I never expected someone to be so kind and helpful! I honestly can’t thank you enough! I came to Mayo Clinic with the hope of finding information that could help me feel more at peace with the experience and also to be more informed. Again I want to thank you for your help and your kindness, it’s extremely appreciated!

REPLY
@loribmt

Hi @kwork Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. Oh, I can just feel your anxiety! I hope I can help you relax and move on from this one. No one needs extra stressors in their life.

I agree the technician could have handled that situation a little better…have you move to another chair, re-sanitize your current chair, change her gloves, etc,. but your risk of contracting HIV or anything else would be minimal.
When giving plasma, you’re in a blood clinic so all the donors are screened for HIV and other blood borne pathogens such as hepatitis. They wouldn’t be in that chair. From experience the shininess of the dots on the chair sounds like saline or even dried disinfectant. Blood tends not to be shiny. I have 30+ years of infection control in a large dental practice and have seen similar dots on chairs even though they’d been completely sanitized. But I sure know how that can make a person feel if they’re not sure what ‘that spot’ is on the chair! Instant ick!

You were great to keep in mind the steps she followed after touching the chair. Makes it easy for me to visualize her next steps which seem entirely appropriate. She used an alcohol prep on your skin. That would also have disinfected her glove and the needle was new and sterile. She didn’t touch your skin near the needle, the needle itself or injection site after that. So you can relax and breathe a huge sigh of relief.

And personally, I want to thank you for giving Plasma. I had my share of the life saving fluid over the past 2 years. I’m grateful to you and the millions of others who regularly donate plasma, and all blood products.

I hope I’ve helped ease your anxiety today. ☺️
May I ask what you were searching for that brought you to Mayo Clinic Connect?

Jump to this post

I did have one question that I hope doesn’t change anything, the way she cleaned my arm was with this huge q tip type thing that came out of a sealed container that she wiped in a circle for 5-10 seconds and it was a brownish color. And she opened the needle and poked me. Is that as good as like rubbing alcohol?

I just asked my husband and it was Iodine, is that strong enough to sanitize it and remove any risk of HIV or etc?

REPLY
@kwork

I did have one question that I hope doesn’t change anything, the way she cleaned my arm was with this huge q tip type thing that came out of a sealed container that she wiped in a circle for 5-10 seconds and it was a brownish color. And she opened the needle and poked me. Is that as good as like rubbing alcohol?

I just asked my husband and it was Iodine, is that strong enough to sanitize it and remove any risk of HIV or etc?

Jump to this post

I have great news for you! Your question doesn’t change anything except to make the answer even more promising. ☺️

From your description the nurse used a Betadine swab. It’s a povidone-iodine that’s highly effective against bacteria and viruses. It’s applied to skin before surgical procedures! I’ve had it used on me many times before having Picc lines, ports installed and bone marrow biopsies. And since the needle was sterile and the nurse didn’t touch the needle there would be no way of any cross contamination for you during your donation.

I’ve posted an article from Pub/Med titled, Inactivation of human viruses with Povidone-Iodinewhich, tells how effective it is against viruses, including human immunodeficiency viruses and Covid.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9403252/
Does this help make you a little more confident that you have nothing to worry about? You should be able let this worry go.

REPLY
@loribmt

I have great news for you! Your question doesn’t change anything except to make the answer even more promising. ☺️

From your description the nurse used a Betadine swab. It’s a povidone-iodine that’s highly effective against bacteria and viruses. It’s applied to skin before surgical procedures! I’ve had it used on me many times before having Picc lines, ports installed and bone marrow biopsies. And since the needle was sterile and the nurse didn’t touch the needle there would be no way of any cross contamination for you during your donation.

I’ve posted an article from Pub/Med titled, Inactivation of human viruses with Povidone-Iodinewhich, tells how effective it is against viruses, including human immunodeficiency viruses and Covid.
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9403252/
Does this help make you a little more confident that you have nothing to worry about? You should be able let this worry go.

Jump to this post

Thank you!! That definitely makes me feel so much better!!

I honestly can’t thank you enough! I truly appreciate your time and kindness!

REPLY
@kwork

Thank you so much for your reply, I never expected someone to be so kind and helpful! I honestly can’t thank you enough! I came to Mayo Clinic with the hope of finding information that could help me feel more at peace with the experience and also to be more informed. Again I want to thank you for your help and your kindness, it’s extremely appreciated!

Jump to this post

Aw, you’re most welcome. Honestly, I’ve been in your shoes. Not the same scenario but in situations that have made my heart skip a beat or raise my eyebrows! It’s so easy to get inside our own heads and tell ourself stories. I swear they keep growing despite our best intentions to reassure ourselves that we’ll be ok. But from experience I can tell you it would be extremely difficult to pass on anything harmful to you by what you experienced. Outside of touching the chair the rest of the nurse’s protocol seemed pretty standard.
I read this message after answering your next question about the swab…so I think now you’ll have all your answers and hopefully will be able to put this episode behind you in the ‘ta-done’ box. ☺️

REPLY
@kwork

Thank you!! That definitely makes me feel so much better!!

I honestly can’t thank you enough! I truly appreciate your time and kindness!

Jump to this post

Have you had a chance look through the more than 70 groups we have in our Connect community? We’re all members, just like you who have come together to find answers or help each other through shared experiences.
Feel free to Connect with members whom you feel you can help or encourage or just offer a shoulder. You never know how much help you might be to someone! I’m so happy I’ve been able to help you!

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