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To think my friend needles clarification on this?

(30 Posts)
Flossyfloof Sun 21-Dec-14 23:08:21

My cleaner cleans for various other people. Ts week, when emptying a bin she picked her finger on a syringe, it was actually stuck in her finger and she had to pull it out. The lady whose house it was has a sharps box but clearly didn't use it on this occasion, just chucked it in the bin. My cleaner asked if there was any reason to be worried about this and the lady said it was just saline.
I am shocked by this and have no idea what you would be using saline for.
I am inclined to advise her to contact the woman and ask for clarification. What do you think? I don't want to worry her but I would want to know exactly what the syringe was for and confirmation that the woman doesn't have anything infection. I don't know, perhaps I am just overreacting...

bakingtins Sun 21-Dec-14 23:11:22

I think she should be contacting her GP. I'd be more worried about infection from the needle stick than what was in the syringe initially.

Due2015 Sun 21-Dec-14 23:12:56

I'd contact gp Incase of infection

scousadelic Sun 21-Dec-14 23:13:57

The homeowner needs to be reminded to use the sharps box as she is also putting binmen and other workers at risk besides the cleaner. That really is appalling of her

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks Sun 21-Dec-14 23:14:29

I would suggest she contacts her gp surgery and informs them she has had a needle stick injury. They should be able to help her get tested for any potential nasties. She really can't just take a person's word for it with this.

2minsofyourtime Sun 21-Dec-14 23:14:55

That's awlful, she really should go to her gp, it's really unacceptable of her employee.

MiddleAgedandConfused Sun 21-Dec-14 23:15:13

She needs to see her go and quickly. She should not trust what the lady who owned the needle tells her and get checked out regardless. ASAP.

Theorientcalf Sun 21-Dec-14 23:16:08

She needs to be seen ASAP and get some bloods taken.

CocktailQueen Sun 21-Dec-14 23:16:20

Needles clarification? hmm

Yes, your friend should go to gp and explain what has happened.

MiddleAgedandConfused Sun 21-Dec-14 23:16:20

GP not go

Flossyfloof Sun 21-Dec-14 23:18:03

Sorry I haven't got my glasses. Apologies for typos and Freudian slips!
I think I will give her a ring tomorrow and suggest she give her GP a ring. I wouldn't be very bloody happy about it myself.
Thanks for your thoughts.

Flossyfloof Sun 21-Dec-14 23:19:09

Glasses on! I haven't got my glasses on!! Aaarrrgh!

TestingTestingWonTooFree Sun 21-Dec-14 23:20:49

I had an injection/blood test recently (can't remember which) and the HCP had forgotten her sharps box. She put the used needle in her tunic pocket and thought she had possibly scratched/pricked herself on the way back to the car. She had to have HIV etc testing and so did I even though I'd had it done a couple of months before.

MulledLairyFights Sun 21-Dec-14 23:24:52

GP. Bloods. No excuse.

I would also reconsider cleaning that woman's home in the future.

nocoolnamesleft Sun 21-Dec-14 23:28:41


UterusUterusGhali Sun 21-Dec-14 23:30:26


The employer should be bloody ashamed of herself.

She needs to get checked ASAP.

For future reference, if you get a needle stick, make it bleed and hold it under as hot water as you can tolerate for ten mins. Then go to a&e.

footphobic Mon 22-Dec-14 00:48:18

Saline is quite often used for reconstituting other meds or flushing, meaning that the needle could have been used only to draw up the saline from a vial then discarded therefore having had no actual contact with blood.

Having said that, it was incredibly irresponsible and dangerous of the employer and your friend should uphone their GP for advice ASAP.

catsofa Mon 22-Dec-14 01:17:11

The employer has breached health and safety law and the cleaner should refuse to do any more work for her before she has put measures in place to ensure this can never happen again.

Whatever is said about what the needle was used for, people often lie about some of the things needles are used for, so further questions about this probably aren't worthwhile.

I think she probably needs to get an emergency GP appointment at this stage, having missed by now the window of it being useful to have gone straight to A&E. Assuming she can get a same-day emergency GP appointment. Test results may take a while to come back though, so she will be worried for a while and the employer should also be doing some massive apologising in the meantime.

Flossyfloof Mon 22-Dec-14 08:10:19

Thanks all. I will text her now and ask her to give me a ring. I am sure it is nothing to worry about but I would certainly be getting checked out and as others have said the employer is hugely irresponsible. I don't think I would be happy about going back.

BallsforEarings Mon 22-Dec-14 10:02:57

Catsofa - the cleaner will be self-employed, the client is not her employer so unfortunately the cleaner will not be covered by the health and safety at work act as she is responsible for her own risk assessments (unless she works for a cleaning company who did not make their policies on no bio-hazard cleaning clear to the client), but I suspect she is an independent contractor, she is not an employee unless the client runs payroll for her, which is never the case!

I am appalled - all she can do is see the GP urgently for tests and TAKE THAT CLIENT OFF HER SCHEDULE!!

londonrach Mon 22-Dec-14 10:10:00

Did she get the area to bleed as much as she could, wash with area with water and soap then straight to a&e or gp for blood tests. Her employer has failed in a duty of care. All sharps should be stored in a sharps box. I deal with shapes daily in my working life. I have a sharps box in my dom bag but it can be sealed between patients. When full its sealed another way and then picked up. What is someone doing putting sharps in the bin!!!

BallsforEarings Mon 22-Dec-14 10:31:26

It was her CLIENT not her employer - there is no legal duty of care apart from morally! Unless of course the client ran payroll for her and she had no other clients, (which the OP stated she does!) she was responsible for her own policies and risk assessments. I know it's harsh but it is true!

The best she can do is take immediate action regarding blood tests and drop the client who put her at so much risk!

This sounds really harsh and my heart goes out to her but unless she works for a cleaning company she will not be covered and the client has no responsibility to her apart from any she laid out in a contract/agreement when the cleaning was arranged, in law as she is self employed and needs to be responsible for her own legalities! sad

BallsforEarings Mon 22-Dec-14 10:36:36

Please - all you cleaning people out there - if you haven't already - address this issue in your terms and conditions and have the client sign them - THEN you are covered should they break the agreed terms!

It is downright dangerous to just wander into clients homes with no risk assessments or policies in place, if anything should happen you will learn the hard way so please take note of what happened to this poor lady and please god may it amount to nothing more than a scare!!

catsofa Mon 22-Dec-14 11:27:24

You are covered anyway by basic health and safety law. You don't have to think of every stupid dangerous thing your employer could have lying around their house and include it in your contract, the law already says they must take responsibility for not exposing you to ridiculous risks like this!

BallsforEarings Mon 22-Dec-14 11:37:20

But she is not the cleaner's employer so she cannot be held accountable - and yes you really should do risk assessments to make sure a property is safe for yourself and any staff you have working there and all aspects of risk (which need to be assessed) should be included in you terms and conditions! This is standard industry advice not something I just thought of! People cut corners with all this before they have staff working for them and then it becomes a legal obligation - I did myself, but they shouldn't - think about it, you yourself are just as important as staff and should be covered in these events just like your staff should be by law!

I wish that this wasn't the case and am disgusted that the cleaner was exposed like this but it is in fact her own responsibility not the homeowners (legally) although morally it is the homeowner's responsibility for it to be the homeowner's responsibility she would have to be her employer but she is not!

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