To expect to be told if a patient of mine is HIV positive

(150 Posts)
NCISaddict Mon 18-Jan-16 15:57:46

If I have asked them if they have any medical conditions I should be aware of?
I am aware that it is very difficult to catch and that they may have encountered judgemental attitudes in the past, which is totally unacceptable but if your condition could put your HCP at some risk (even though it would be small) then surely you should inform them?

Melonaire Mon 18-Jan-16 15:58:23

What do you do?

Iwonderwhy123 Mon 18-Jan-16 15:59:36

Depends what your job is really?

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Mon 18-Jan-16 15:59:39

Is it relevant to what you do?

AnyFucker Mon 18-Jan-16 15:59:56

if you use universal precautions there is negligible risk to you

that should be standard practice

you should know that lots of patients conceal all sorts of things, for their own reasons

so if you protect yourself, it shouldn't matter if they omit information

cuntycowfacemonkey Mon 18-Jan-16 16:00:34

Really depends on the context of your job in relation to the patient

DonkeyOaty Mon 18-Jan-16 16:00:53

I don't know

I sort of think the onus is on you to treat everyone as a potential illness carrier and barrier self accordingly? As I say I don't know.

PurpleDaisies Mon 18-Jan-16 16:00:58

Surely you take appropriate precautions not to expose yourself to blood borne pathogens with every single patient? They might not know whether they are HIV positive or not.

It's better for them to tell you but I don't think it is a huge deal if they don't.

DonkeyOaty Mon 18-Jan-16 16:01:34

Or what AF said much better.

cuntycowfacemonkey Mon 18-Jan-16 16:01:34

But agree with anyfucker regarding universal precautions

Upthenoonoo Mon 18-Jan-16 16:02:08

Not necessarily and I say this as a nurse. Surely every patient should be treated with the same precautions? That said it would depend on the procedure being carried out but universal precautions are there to protect us and them.

AnyFucker Mon 18-Jan-16 16:02:16

in the course of my work, I have probably encountered countless people with serious communicable diseases/statuses

if you take the line that anyone could have a hidden condition, then it makes no difference

HardleyWorthit Mon 18-Jan-16 16:02:43

Agree with all of the above.

What exactly do you do?

NCISaddict Mon 18-Jan-16 16:03:08

I'm a paramedic and of course I am careful all the time but we aren't always able to use aseptic techniques all the time so the risks to us are higher than if it was in a hospital.

Wishingtimeaway Mon 18-Jan-16 16:03:34

Surely if there is any risk to you- you would be using universal precautions to protect yourself, given that not everybody would necessarily know that they carried hiv or other blood borne viruses.

WorraLiberty Mon 18-Jan-16 16:03:44

Surely you should take the same precautions with everyone, regardless?

Branleuse Mon 18-Jan-16 16:03:49

Are you exposed to their blood or bodily fluids

Arfarfanarf Mon 18-Jan-16 16:05:05

I think you can't expect people are always going to be honest.

And what about the people who don't know they have hiv?

If procedures are in place but not being followed, that's a problem you need to insist is addressed.

Melonaire Mon 18-Jan-16 16:05:21

Then no, you're not entitled to know. As AnyFucker said you should always take enough precautions to protect yourself. The people you treat could be carrying lots of diseases that are much easier to transmit.

AnyFucker Mon 18-Jan-16 16:05:22

if you are a paramedic then I assume that some of your patients will be very seriously ill and/or injured so there would often not be time to take a full medical history

take precautions every time as if every patient is potentially a risk (no offence to patients here smile )

NCISaddict Mon 18-Jan-16 16:06:29

Yes I can be exposed to blood/bodily fluids often unexpectedly. Using universal precautions is ideal but not always possible.

AnyFucker Mon 18-Jan-16 16:06:38

has something happened, op ?

are you ok ?

SisterMoonshine Mon 18-Jan-16 16:07:27

It's shocking that precautions aren't taken all the time.
What if the patient is unconscious?

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Mon 18-Jan-16 16:07:31

I'm guessing here, but surely if someone is in need of a paramedic there's a very good chance that they're not really thinking straight. I live with a condition that may be helpful to inform health professionals, but I'm so used to having it it just doesn't register highly enough on my radar to mention it. IYSWIM.

NCISaddict Mon 18-Jan-16 16:08:56

If they don't know/ are too seriously ill to communicate, obviously then they can't tell me but this wasn't the situation in this case. I'm just interested to know if IABU to think that if they know and can tell me then they should.

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