Consult Doctors. Free.
Ask a doctor in Singapore. Get answers in 24 hours.
DxD will always be free for the first 1000 members who sign up.
I was very afraid about an incident last December, whereby I fear that the lancet (Accuchek Safe T-Pro Plus purple Lancet) has been reused. I am sorry to sound offensive to some, but the doctor has a visible tattoo which made me extremely uncomfortable and unassuring.
Although I know that lancets have been reported to transmit HBV and HCV, and I know that it could possibly transmit HIV, do you heard of ANY transmission of HIV through a used lancet in medical literature? (If I am not wrong, the time between the last patient and me was around 10 minutes or so)
Also, do you think this is a plausible risk at all in the Singapore context?
And a very sensitive question, are health professionals (including locums) allowed to practice in Singapore if they have tattoos?
Thank you so much!
Yes, doctors with tattoos (including locums), nurses, and other health professionals are allowed to practise in Singapore.
Healthcare professionals are all subject to a health screening, which includes a HIV and hepatitis test, before being allowed to practise.
Is there ANY known transmission of HIV through a used lancet in medical literature?
Yes, there are of course cases of HIV transmission through used needles, which is why HIV was fairly rampant amongst IV drug users who shared needles in the past.
The risk of acquisition of HIV from a hollow-bore needle with blood from a known HIV seropositive source is between 0.2% and 0.5%, based on prospective studies of occupational needle stick injuries.
In most reported instances involving transmission of HIV, the needle stick injury occurred within seconds or minutes after the needle was withdrawn from the source patient.
Do you think this is a plausible risk at all in the Singapore context?
It would be gross negligence/oversight if a healthcare professional truly reused a needle between patients.
I’ve never ever seen it happen before in my life – this is because “sharps safety” is enforced since early days in medical school. Needles, broken vials, scapels etc are disposed off in a bright yellow bin ASAP after being used.
Doctors/nurses etc are the most susceptible to “sharps injuries” ourselves if we don’t practise this consistently.
Even though I personally feel that it’s very unlikely that your doctor could have made this error, I can’t say for certain.
If you have real concerns about the needle being reused, or HIV exposure, I’d advise for you to go to the government’s DSC clinic to get screened.
Alternatively, you could try the Action For Aids, which is a not-for-profit, anonymous HIV test service in Singapore.