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HIV blood test - no gloves?

(22 Posts)
Nuanna Mon 28-Nov-16 15:46:17

Should a phlebotomist taking bloods for HIV and hepatitis testing be wearing gloves?

MaidOfStars Mon 28-Nov-16 16:03:39

Sterile needle into contained Pax-type tube + confident, careful phlebotomist = not necessarily (IMO).

UterusUterusGhali Mon 28-Nov-16 16:08:49

Gloves are for the practitioners protection, and if they don't have any open sores/cuts it wouldn't be a problem.
Gloves won't prevent a needlestick injury.

It's easier to palate a vein without gloves ime. You wouldn't think it would make much difference but it does. Saves misses and rootling around in your arm. smile

FurryLittleTwerp Mon 28-Nov-16 16:08:52

Wearing gloves can make it more difficult for the blood-taker to tell/feel what they are doing.

Rhythmsticks Mon 28-Nov-16 16:12:55

It's up to them, there is no risk to the patient if they don't but in case of a needlestick injury gloves do offer some protection.

agedknees Mon 28-Nov-16 16:14:34

Misconception that gloves are for the patients protection when taking bloods. They are purely for the practitioners protection.

frikadela01 Mon 28-Nov-16 16:14:47

Not necessary unless they have open wounds. As long as they have clean hands it's fine. Gloves won't do squat to prevent a needlestick injury.

Thisjustinno Mon 28-Nov-16 16:14:58

Lots of phlebotomists don't wear gloves.

UterusUterusGhali Mon 28-Nov-16 16:15:42

Oh I didn't know that, rhythm*!

Is that because the glove materiel will "wipe" away some of the blood? I'd still shit myself if I got one.

UterusUterusGhali Mon 28-Nov-16 16:16:41

'Scuse typoes

MoonriseKingdom Mon 28-Nov-16 16:17:04

There should be no difference between taking hepatitis/ HIV bloods and any other bloods. You should presume any blood sample has the potential to pass on a blood borne virus and take appropriate precautions.

When I started taking blood most junior doctors didn't wear gloves as the perception was it made blood taking more difficult. These days I wouldn't dream of not wearing gloves. I think in a lot of trusts you may be in trouble if seen not to wear them. A lot of my blood taking has been in paediatric patients where you tend to go by sight rather than palpating veins anyway. As others have stated it is for the phlebotomists protection not the patient though.

Nuanna Mon 28-Nov-16 16:19:59

Great thanks. It's been raised previously and the phlebotomist says that patients are mistaken and that she always wears gloves for all blood tests.

I've never been able to remember if they did or they didn't, but this time it really struck me (because of the nature of the blood tests but also because I was aware of the conversations and claims from both parties).

Either way, it seems like it is a total non-issue and perhaps the surgery should focus on that and educating patients rather than whether the phlebotomists are actually wearing gloves or not.

Nuanna Mon 28-Nov-16 16:20:46

*Non-issue for the patient.

I just wanted to clarify that.

Mrsmorton Mon 28-Nov-16 16:22:45

Is the HIV test not a finger prick test now & the tester doesn't ever actually get near the blood?

Agree with pps, not necessarily. Gloves aren't cleaner than hands etc etc.

Nuanna Mon 28-Nov-16 16:28:10

No - the test was vials, not finger prick.

UterusUterusGhali Mon 28-Nov-16 16:37:38

It's probably policy tbh. And best practice.

As mk says you assume every sample has all the nasties in it anyway.

The phlebotomists I go to always ask if I mind them not wearing them. That seems a good compromise.

LunaLoveg00d Mon 28-Nov-16 16:46:18

I had bloods done in hospital after a procedure last week and the doctor didn't wear gloves. I'm assuming though that he had seen my medical records and knew I was HIV negative as I had lots of blood tests a couple of weeks prior to the operation.

If it's for the doc's protection rather than the patient's, then surely it's up to them.

shinynewusername Mon 28-Nov-16 16:52:37

As PPs have said, gloves protect the HCP, not the patient and do not of course protect against needles. HIV transmission from patient to HCP has never been recorded just from blood spills onto skin, though it is theoretically possible (if you had breaks in the skin, even if too small to see). Hepatitis, however, is much easier to transmit.

Personally I always wear gloves to take blood.

hannahm96 Fri 08-Sep-17 05:01:04

Sorry to post again in this thread, but I have a doubt.

If the phlebotomist didn't wash his/her hands between patients, is it still safe for the patient? My phlebotomist always rubs cotton wool against the wound after getting the blood out. But I don't know if she washes her hands before patients, I don't recall seeing her doing it and we get there right after the previous patient goes out, which means it's quite possible she doesn't wash her hands, at least not always.

Windytwigs Fri 08-Sep-17 05:43:28

Probably get better answers to your question if you post your own thread hannah. Unless you're the one who posted about the HCP with unhygienic fingernails earlier....

RonnieBear Fri 08-Sep-17 12:22:20

Hannah, it's standard practice to wash/sanitise hands between patients no matter what healthcare provider you are. If you aren't sure your practitioner has done this there's no problem asking them. Most likely they'll have used alcohol rub/gel

HPandBaconSandwiches Fri 08-Sep-17 12:39:40

It's sloppy practice IMO (HCP). It's this foolish notion from years ago that being gloveless makes accessing veins easier. Only if that's the only way you've done it. If,from the start of your training, or soon after, you've always worn gloves, it's perfectly easy to take blood wearing them. I changed my practice about 5 years after qualifying when the risks were actually pointed out to me.

Yes, it protects the HCP. A needle stick going through a gloves reduces the amount of blood on that needle tip and so reduces the viral load and chance of seroconversion. By protecting yourself, you protect your future patients. Not all needle sticks are reported and tested. It also contravenes most Trust policies and therefore may reduce your chance of claiming work injury if the worst happens.
I've been an HCP for 20 years. I am the person that's called when no one else can get the bloods. I get massively annoyed when people don't wear gloves. Sloppy training and foolish choice. It is no excuse to say "that's how I've always done it".

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