Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Accidental Needle Sticks
Many people worry about getting a disease like hepatitis or HIV from an accidental needle stick. But it doesn't happen often. Most of the time, the person on whom the needle was used doesn't have hepatitis, HIV, or another infection that can be spread that way.
When the person does have an infection that can be spread, your risk level if you are accidentally stuck by the needle depends on:
If you must handle used needles, know the right way to dispose of them. And make sure to wear protective gloves.
The U.S. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the following steps if you have
any exposure to blood:
Call your doctor right away. In some cases, medicine may help to prevent infection. The sooner you start treatment, the more likely it is to work.
If you work in health care, take steps to protect yourself:
If you get an accidental needle stick:
For more information about job-related exposure to HIV, contact:
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerH. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency MedicineMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Current as ofMay 27, 2016
Current as of:
May 27, 2016
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.